Electric Vehicles 20289839721446110180

Published on November 9th, 2012 | by Andrew Meggison

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Fisker Out $30 Million Thanks To Super Storm Sandy

Sixteen Fisker Karmas in Port Newark, New Jersey were submerged in flood waters caused by Hurricane Sandy – and then they burst into flames. Not good.

Fisker has taken a lot of heat over the past year. From fires, to defaulting on their government loan, to having Justin Bieber driving one – it has been a rough road. These recent fires have once again brought the issue of safety surrounding the Fisker Karma back into the headlines.

Fisker reported that no one was hurt in the fire and that the company was looking into the matter.  On Monday November 5th Fisker released their report as to the cause of the fires.

Fisker claims that salt water caused on Karma to short circuit. This short caused a fire that then spread to the other fifteen Karmas that were parked in close vicinity. No explosions took place, as was incorrectly reported, and the lithium ion batteries, that had been the subject of a recent recall, were ruled out as the cause of the short.

Fisker technicians accompanied by National Highway Traffic Safety Administration representatives determined that the fire was caused when the Karma become submerged in about eight feet of salt water. After several hours of being submerged the salt from the sea water corroded the Karma’s low voltage vehicle control unit that is powered by a normal 12 volt battery. The control unit shorted out, caught on fire, and high winds spread the flames to the nearby vehicles.

In August, Fisker concluded that a fire which badly damaged a 2012 Fisker Karma parked outside a store in Woodside California was caused by a short circuit in a cooling fan. Last May, a Karma caught fire in Sugar Land Texas and destroyed the car and damaged the garage and house it was kept in.

Fisker’s statement on the Port Newark fires ends by reiterating that the Fisker Karma, “meets or exceeds all safety requirements for markets in North America, Europe, and the Middle East.”

But Super Storm Sandy’s impact on Fisker does not end there. Fisker has reported that 300 Karma’s, with sticker a price of around $100,000 each, were destroyed at a New Jersey port due to flooding during the storm. Cost to the already beat down company — $30 million.

Source: businessinsider.com

Andrew Meggison was born in the state of Maine and educated in Massachusetts. Andrew earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Government and International Relations from Clark University and a Master’s Degree in Political Science from Northeastern University. Being an Eagle Scout, Andrew has a passion for all things environmental. In his free time Andrew enjoys writing, exploring the great outdoors, a good film, and a creative cocktail. You can follow Andrew on Twitter @AndrewMeggison 




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About the Author

Andrew Meggison was born in the state of Maine and educated in Massachusetts. Andrew earned a Bachelor's Degree in Government and International Relations from Clark University and a Master's Degree in Political Science from Northeastern University. In his free time Andrew enjoys writing, exploring the great outdoors, a good film, and a creative cocktail. You can follow Andrew on Twitter @AndrewMeggison



  • http://www.facebook.com/burjoes Jason Burroughs

    “Cost to the already beat down company — $30 million.”

    Um, did you not read the article where it said the cars were insured? Please guys, read the original articles before you blog about them.

    • http://importantmedia.org/members/joborras/ Jo Borras

      Call me when Fisker gets a check.

  • george

    I bet that any electric car that is submerged in salt water would catch on fire. The really strange thing about Lithium is that it will burn under water, it is that instability of this element that makes it dangerous. Think about this, if your electric car is in an accident and there is a fire, what do the first responders (fire fighters) do…….they throw some water on it…….and hopefully extinguish the fire. This doesn’t happen with lithium, it has a violent reaction with water and would explode. Just a safety reminder.

    • Susanna Schick

      wow, good to know! I was excited to discover QRG at the EV Symposium last year. It’s a guide for first responders which shows them exactly which wires to cut or avoid and what to do with damaged EV’s and hybrids. It’s a cool app. https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/qrg/id466857863?mt=8

    • Nixon

      George — You have made the classic mistake of thinking that compounds made out of elements automatically have the same properties as the pure elements themselves. This is false.

      There is no pure unbonded elemental Lithium in any Lithium batteries. The Lithium in Lithium batteries is all in stable molecules bonded with other chemicals. These will NOT ignite when put in contact with water the way pure elemental Lithium will.

      Let me try to explain this through another member of the semi-metalic family, Sodium. Pure unbonded elemental Sodium will explode when it comes in contact with water. Hit youtube for plenty of examples.

      So if you think about Sodium the same way you are thinking about Lithium, you would naturally be afraid that dumping Sodium-Chloride in water would be deadly dangerous too. In reality, you do this every single time you put common table salt into water to cook pasta. Amazingly, nothing explodes the same way it would if you were to dump pure Sodium into water.

      The same goes for Lithium batteries. You can pour water all over the Lithium compounds used to make Lithium batteries all day long and you would never get the same reaction you get out of pure Lithium and water. One car company leader even drank some of their Lithium ion battery fluid to prove how safe it really is.

      I’m sorry to burst your bubble, but the Lithium in Lithium batteries is no more dangerous than common table salt when exposed to water.

  • Susanna Schick

    This is sad, as it really feels like all the odds are against them, starting with just not being up to the task of building a successful car company. Fisker and Tesla have been a real case study of what to do and what not to do. Sure, Tesla almost went under, but with a founder who’s willing to sacrifice everything to keep his babies alive, they survived the early years.

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