Anyone doubting the durability of the battery used in the Nissan LEAF might want to watch the video below. After watching the footage — which shows the LEAF’s battery being pierced with a screwdriver repeatedly and being exposed to a propane torch — it becomes apparent that the battery can take quite a lot of abuse without catching fire.
Humorously, the battery retained most of its charge capacity even after the assault. Not a bad advertisement for Nissan I suppose. 😉 Enjoy the video.
The motive behind the video is no doubt the fact that there were a couple of highly publicized instances last year where EVs in accidents caught fire — it’s worth noting, though, that these instances were very rare, and none of them involved LEAFs. Nissan’s battery modules have, so far, not caught fire in any car accidents.
Autoblog Green provides more information on the video:
A video that has surfaced of cells from a Leaf pack undergoing a battery of torture tests (pun somewhat-ashamedly intended). Shared by folks at the Hybrid Auto Center in Las Vegas – who offer for sale, among other things, used Leaf lithium battery modules – the footage shows salvaged cells being brutally assaulted with a screwdriver, and later, a propane torch. Granted, these tests are not the same thing as flinging a piece of metal into a working pack at 70 miles per hour, but they do claim to show that a puncture does not always equal a fire. Oh, and don’t try this at home.
When pierced through by the flat head tool, there is no explosion or eruption of flame. Instead, a rather modest wisp of smoke shyly emerges as the electrolyte next to the shorted area of the fully-charged foil pouch reacts with the influx of oxygen. Again and again, the blade descends, until the cell is riddled with holes. No fire. Amazingly, when connected with a voltmeter afterward there are still plenty of signs of life, and when it is charged and discharged (off-camera), it reportedly suffers only a slight loss of charge capacity. The video goes on to show another cell attacked with open flame with similar results.
So, if you drive a Nissan LEAF, and have been worried about your car possibly catching fire in an accident, it looks like that isn’t such a likely event. 🙂
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