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(Jalopnik)   You would think that the Fisker Karmas' propensity to catch fire would be quelled during a hurricane storm surge. Turns out they become fireworks displays   (updates.jalopnik.com) divider line 100
    More: Scary, Fisker Karma, Fisker, gasoline engines, storm surges  
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13668 clicks; posted to Main » on 31 Oct 2012 at 5:29 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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vpb [TotalFark]
2012-10-31 02:07:19 PM
Who knew that electricity and water don't mix well?
 
2012-10-31 02:09:30 PM
Isn't that the car that just died at the Consumer Reports testing facility. They couldn't even get it to the test track and they just gave up?
 
2012-10-31 02:26:21 PM
They had a week notice before the storm hit, you'd think that somebody with $2 million in inventory would have moved the cars.
 
2012-10-31 02:31:20 PM

vernonFL: They had a week notice before the storm hit, you'd think that somebody with $2 million in inventory would have moved the cars.


Depends on what they were insured for, now doesn't it?
 
2012-10-31 02:33:09 PM
A car that could burst into flame at any time for any number of reasons? That's driving excitement!
 
2012-10-31 02:56:47 PM
Pintos for the environmentally concerned.
 
2012-10-31 03:00:43 PM
Aren't there only like 400+ of those things that have been sold? I see them all the time since their manufacturing facility is near my office and a dealership in Irvine by my house, but I can't imagine they'll be on the road too much longer with the track record so far. They are nice to look at, but they seem about as useful a vehicle as a Ford Pinto.
 
2012-10-31 04:26:20 PM
Fiscker is probably saying "FSCK!"
 
2012-10-31 05:05:15 PM
What are these cars made of, pure sodium? That looks like it was one hell of a fire:

img72.imageshack.us
 
2012-10-31 05:30:48 PM
They should stick to making scissors.
 
2012-10-31 05:32:58 PM

Lsherm: What are these cars made of, pure sodium? That looks like it was one hell of a fire:

[img72.imageshack.us image 500x281]


Lsherm: What are these cars made of, pure sodium? That looks like it was one hell of a fire:

[img72.imageshack.us image 500x281]


My guess would be aluminum bodies. Lithium batteries hold a shiat-ton of energy, and aluminum melts pretty easily.
 
2012-10-31 05:35:20 PM
Lithium ion batteries tend to go poof when water is introduced.
 
2012-10-31 05:36:49 PM
Not a bug. A feature.
 
2012-10-31 05:37:19 PM
That's just a bit of bad Fisker
 
2012-10-31 05:40:18 PM
A lot of that will buff right out.
 
2012-10-31 05:40:50 PM
Fisker Karmas

Don't kill even the smallest living thing, it's right there in the Vedas man. Can't you read?
 
2012-10-31 05:41:56 PM
Al Gore's personal inventory?
 
2012-10-31 05:43:53 PM

Fish in a Barrel: Lsherm: What are these cars made of, pure sodium? That looks like it was one hell of a fire:

[img72.imageshack.us image 500x281]

Lsherm: What are these cars made of, pure sodium? That looks like it was one hell of a fire:

[img72.imageshack.us image 500x281]

My guess would be aluminum bodies. Lithium batteries hold a shiat-ton of energy, and aluminum melts pretty easily.


Aluminum burns pretty impressively too, though it's hard to get lit. I'd have liked to have seen that, maybe through a filter. I can imagine that was pretty damn bright.
 
2012-10-31 05:44:13 PM

Lsherm: What are these cars made of, pure sodium? That looks like it was one hell of a fire:


They have 22 kilowatt-hour Nanophosphate Lithium Batteries, lithium is of the same Alkali Metals Family as Sodium, so submerged for several hours if one leaks the battery pack will probably explode. The batteries are supposed to be permanently sealed, but I'll bet the testing did not included long term submersion in sea water driven by hurricane force winds.
 
2012-10-31 05:45:25 PM
Tesla FTW!
 
2012-10-31 05:47:54 PM
uwaterloo.ca

Pure Lithium dropped into water
 
2012-10-31 05:48:04 PM
Wow, those Fiskers are FBXRD!

Must be bad Karma.


/ducks
 
2012-10-31 05:49:21 PM

Tom_Slick: Lsherm: What are these cars made of, pure sodium? That looks like it was one hell of a fire:

They have 22 kilowatt-hour Nanophosphate Lithium Batteries, lithium is of the same Alkali Metals Family as Sodium, so submerged for several hours if one leaks the battery pack will probably explode. The batteries are supposed to be permanently sealed, but I'll bet the testing did not included long term submersion in sea water driven by hurricane force winds.


The answer could be a lot simplier than that. When you pass an electrical current through water, it heats it up. In fact, not only does it heat it up, but things ontop of the water that are exposed to air will catch on fire.

If all 10 cars batteries were being discharged into the water at the same time, then it's pretty easy to see that this is what could have happened without any exploding going on.

Occam's Razor, etc.
 
2012-10-31 05:50:51 PM

TwistedFark: If all 10 cars batteries were being discharged into the water at the same time, then it's pretty easy to see that this is what could have happened without any exploding going on.


Very true, at 22 Kilowatt hours per car that is a lot of current. Just pointing out lithium will combust in water.
 
2012-10-31 05:51:19 PM
"Burns into a puddle of semimolten metal if it rains" seems like a bug that should have been caught pre-production.
 
2012-10-31 05:52:32 PM

basemetal: Isn't that the car that just died at the Consumer Reports testing facility. They couldn't even get it to the test track and they just gave up?


http://content.usatoday.com/communities/driveon/post/2012/03/fisker-k a rma-consumer-reports-fail-battery-cost/1#.UJGdPoYeUxA

Of course in any new line you will have a percent failure rate, but Fisker really didn't invest in quality control here. :(
 
2012-10-31 05:52:43 PM
Am I in before someone shops a Fisker in place of the Hindenburg?
 
2012-10-31 05:55:44 PM
Internal combustion prevails!
 
2012-10-31 05:56:05 PM
Well, at least they're not immovable bricks!

Light as a feather.
 
2012-10-31 05:59:00 PM

TeddyRooseveltsMustache: Internal combustion prevails!


Yeah, but external combustion loots a lot more impressive.
 
2012-10-31 06:00:03 PM
Justin Beeber has one.
 
2012-10-31 06:00:12 PM
i1277.photobucket.com

This might show up on the report
 
2012-10-31 06:01:19 PM
As Jalopnik has exclusively learned, the cars then caught fire and burned to the ground.


huh?
 
2012-10-31 06:02:42 PM

Oldiron_79: Am I in before someone shops a Fisker in place of the Hindenburg?


i.imgur.com
 
2012-10-31 06:06:58 PM
waiting for the next model: the fisker hibachi
 
2012-10-31 06:11:35 PM
Gee, who could have ever predicted that?

Do, Re, Me me me me

My Pappy always said, "Dat juice will bite you, Kid." Loved to stick bobby pins in electrical outlets as a kid.
Anyways, remember Jessie James building an electric vehicle w/ wood buss bars?
An' that's just tv schtick
Anyways, as a lab assistant at UofM, 1968, I experimented w/ sodium droped from the Washington Ave bridge into the Mighty Mississip. Awesome.
We used to have electric cars. And steam cars. Can't trust the average human with them.
 
2012-10-31 06:19:29 PM
The third one burned down, fell over, then sank into the swamp.
 
2012-10-31 06:24:25 PM
Meh, a little rubbing compound and that will buff right out.
 
2012-10-31 06:27:47 PM
im sure glad we sent them stimulus money so they could build their POS explosive when wet cars... Thanks Obama.
 
2012-10-31 06:34:41 PM
The conspiracy theorist in me thinks:

Have fire insurance [X]
Have flood insurance [ ]
 
2012-10-31 06:34:47 PM
Not that the Karma burning is good, but I don't really want an internal combustion car either once it has been submerged in sea water,
 
2012-10-31 06:36:11 PM
Sea water is a decent conductor, put enough of it around a battery and something metal and it'll make a circuit. Get enough current to crack a battery casing and you get lithium reacting with the water. At that point, it's all over.
 
2012-10-31 06:37:51 PM

EatTheWorld: im sure glad we sent them stimulus money so they could build their POS explosive when wet cars... Thanks Obama.


You could dump a hundred gallons on one no problem. The problem comes in when you submerge the battery packs, especially if you happen to submerge them in sea water.
 
2012-10-31 06:40:39 PM

vernonFL: They had a week notice before the storm hit, you'd think that somebody with $2 million in inventory would have moved the cars.


nope... no matter how much notice you get, it is the responsibility of FEMA and the president to provide relocation for everyone who is impacted by a hurricane. These guys will be getting $2 million worth of debit cards and trailer-based garaging to set up shop in.

/Barack Obama doesn't care about hybrid driving people.
 
2012-10-31 06:49:29 PM

WhyteRaven74: You could dump a hundred gallons on one no problem. The problem comes in when you submerge the battery packs, especially if you happen to submerge them in sea water.



other companies make cars with these types of batteries. I could be wrong, maybe every submerged prius, leaf, and fusion that was submerged reacted the same way. But if they didn't, then something is not right with this.
 
2012-10-31 06:58:44 PM

EatTheWorld: WhyteRaven74: You could dump a hundred gallons on one no problem. The problem comes in when you submerge the battery packs, especially if you happen to submerge them in sea water.


other companies make cars with these types of batteries. I could be wrong, maybe every submerged prius, leaf, and fusion that was submerged reacted the same way. But if they didn't, then something is not right with this.


The Prius doesn't use a Lithium battery.
 
2012-10-31 06:59:56 PM
Given the allegations that Fisker ripped off his technology from Tesla, the Karma may have been appropriately named...
 
2012-10-31 07:00:22 PM

Hector Remarkable: A lot of that will buff right out.


Well THAT elicited a *snort*.

+brazillionty
 
2012-10-31 07:10:03 PM

WhyteRaven74: Sea water is a decent conductor, put enough of it around a battery and something metal and it'll make a circuit. Get enough current to crack a battery casing and you get lithium reacting with the water. At that point, it's all over.


They have a gas engine too, you know, just in case the water and lithium weren't quite enough to blow them up.
 
2012-10-31 07:15:23 PM
I don't mind jumping on the Fisker blame game as their cars seem to have a lot of issues. However I can't say I'm too shocked a LION battery submerged in sea water caused an issue. It could be they didn't insulate everything and the current caused heat or that the battery cases weren't quite sealed as they should have been. Seeing as how the last couple issues seem to have been with the battery pack that's where I would look first.
 
2012-10-31 07:21:31 PM
But the Karma is inside out!
And it exploded!
 
2012-10-31 07:24:34 PM
If my education in movies has taught me anything, it's that gasoline cars burst into flames all the time in the '70s. Give the technology time.

/mom had a Pinto.
 
2012-10-31 07:37:01 PM

Rozinante: If my education in movies has taught me anything, it's that gasoline cars burst into flames all the time in the '70s. Give the technology time.

/mom had a Pinto.


dl.dropbox.com
 
2012-10-31 07:37:53 PM

BalugaJoe: Justin Beeber has one.


My first thought: I hope Bieber was in one of them...

/Wasn't he speeding in one crying the paparazzi were after him?
 
2012-10-31 07:52:05 PM

natgab: BalugaJoe: Justin Beeber has one.

My first thought: I hope Bieber was in one of them...

/Wasn't he speeding in one crying the paparazzi were after him?



Yup and he had it Chromed, the whole car.

/If you want to blend in buy a beige Camry.
 
2012-10-31 08:04:17 PM

Tom_Slick: natgab: BalugaJoe: Justin Beeber has one.

My first thought: I hope Bieber was in one of them...

/Wasn't he speeding in one crying the paparazzi were after him?


Yup and he had it Chromed, the whole car.


I thought you had to be kidding... but... but then...
www.blogcdn.com

... WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT? 

/Though, it would be hard to photograph in the sun
 
2012-10-31 08:15:28 PM

ProfessorOhki: Tom_Slick: natgab: BalugaJoe: Justin Beeber has one.

My first thought: I hope Bieber was in one of them...

Yup and he had it Chromed, the whole car.

I thought you had to be kidding... but... but then...
[www.blogcdn.com image 628x405]

... WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT? 
n


OK, let's be honest. He's young and rich. And like him or not, I don't think I've heard of him actually being a douche.

So, you are (any age) and rich, and you can get a great looking sports car, and you can make it look like LIQUID METAL and DRIVE IN THE FUTURE.

Why wouldn't you do it?!
 
2012-10-31 08:19:26 PM

way south: Rozinante: If my education in movies has taught me anything, it's that gasoline cars burst into flames all the time in the '70s. Give the technology time.

/mom had a Pinto.


I love how the flames start at the back lol
 
2012-10-31 08:34:27 PM

Vitamin Pb: ProfessorOhki: Tom_Slick: natgab: BalugaJoe: Justin Beeber has one.

My first thought: I hope Bieber was in one of them...

Yup and he had it Chromed, the whole car.

I thought you had to be kidding... but... but then...
[www.blogcdn.com image 628x405]

... WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT? 
n

OK, let's be honest. He's young and rich. And like him or not, I don't think I've heard of him actually being a douche.

So, you are (any age) and rich, and you can get a great looking sports car, and you can make it look like LIQUID METAL and DRIVE IN THE FUTURE.

Why wouldn't you do it?!


I have never, ever had taste that bad. So yeah douche is probably a bit much but why would you do that certainly applies.

I hear this is popular in the Middle East.
 
2012-10-31 08:40:42 PM
Do any other hybrids have these problems?

When I first consider the idea of batteries next to gasoline, I am turned off, but I just assumed they were required to make them safe.
 
2012-10-31 08:48:55 PM

hutchkc: I don't mind jumping on the Fisker blame game as their cars seem to have a lot of issues. However I can't say I'm too shocked a LION battery submerged in sea water caused an issue. It could be they didn't insulate everything and the current caused heat or that the battery cases weren't quite sealed as they should have been. Seeing as how the last couple issues seem to have been with the battery pack that's where I would look first.


Is it even possible to seal a battery so well that it won't leak when submerged in seawater? The power's got to get out somehow.

/no, a submarine doesn't count. You aren't trying to get electricity out of a submarine.
 
2012-10-31 08:51:23 PM

The Jami Turman Fan Club: hutchkc: I don't mind jumping on the Fisker blame game as their cars seem to have a lot of issues. However I can't say I'm too shocked a LION battery submerged in sea water caused an issue. It could be they didn't insulate everything and the current caused heat or that the battery cases weren't quite sealed as they should have been. Seeing as how the last couple issues seem to have been with the battery pack that's where I would look first.

Is it even possible to seal a battery so well that it won't leak when submerged in seawater? The power's got to get out somehow.

/no, a submarine doesn't count. You aren't trying to get electricity out of a submarine.


Well you might not be trying to get electricity out of them, but that's just because you're not hardcore.
 
2012-10-31 09:05:38 PM
Pearl Harbor syndrome:
Park them all next to each other.
One goes, and they all go.
 
2012-10-31 09:08:48 PM

Fish in a Barrel: The Prius doesn't use a Lithium battery.


The plug-in does. I think I read Toyota was moving towards Lithium batteries anyway, since the NMH batteries are old technology. Heavier and less power density.
 
2012-10-31 09:15:32 PM
I told ya the water in Jersey was different!
 
2012-10-31 09:17:09 PM
 
2012-10-31 09:26:25 PM
Tesla works.
 
2012-10-31 09:27:44 PM
If Karma is true, then the biggest losers are oil and money: woe be us.
 
2012-10-31 09:28:46 PM

Indubitably: If Karma is true, then the biggest losers are oil and money: woe be us.


I mean you

*)
 
2012-10-31 09:36:40 PM
I knew I heard LULZ at Tesla Motors.
 
2012-10-31 09:41:19 PM

eddievercetti: I knew I heard LULZ at Tesla Motors.


Does that mean I'm hired yet?>
 
2012-10-31 09:44:05 PM
Justin Bieber drives one of these, yeah?

/come on SoCal hurricane!
 
2012-10-31 09:48:43 PM

Urinal Cake Mix: Justin Bieber drives one of these, yeah?

/come on SoCal hurricane!


Hurricane?

It's called the Quake

*)
 
2012-10-31 09:50:14 PM

Indubitably: Urinal Cake Mix: Justin Bieber drives one of these, yeah?

/come on SoCal hurricane!

Hurricane?

It's called the Quake

*)


P.S. Smart businesses would move inland, into the heartland.
 
2012-10-31 09:56:11 PM

Indubitably: Indubitably: Urinal Cake Mix: Justin Bieber drives one of these, yeah?

/come on SoCal hurricane!

Hurricane?

It's called the Quake

*)

P.S. Smart businesses would move inland, into the heartland.


Liberals melt in the rain.
 
2012-10-31 09:57:29 PM

question_dj: Fiscker is probably saying "FSCK!"


Reiserfs. Take a stab at it.
 
2012-10-31 09:58:42 PM

Rozinante: If my education in movies has taught me anything, it's that gasoline cars burst into flames all the time in the '70s. Give the technology time.

/mom had a Pinto.


Yeah I'm wondering when we'll see a movie with a good "electric car explosion".

It'd be easy enough to make something that looks "cool", and it's not like there's a requirement to be technically accurate here. But I think it would just confuse people, people expect cars to make fireballs, end of story.
 
2012-10-31 10:03:45 PM

czetie: Given the allegations that Fisker ripped off his technology from Tesla, the Karma may have been appropriately named...


Actually, Fisker lifted the self-immolation technology from Ferrari.
 
2012-10-31 10:06:38 PM

cyberworm: Indubitably: Indubitably: Urinal Cake Mix: Justin Bieber drives one of these, yeah?

/come on SoCal hurricane!

Hurricane?

It's called the Quake

*)

P.S. Smart businesses would move inland, into the heartland.

Liberals melt in the rain.


Your label defeats your argument.
 
2012-10-31 10:06:47 PM

L.D. Ablo: czetie: Given the allegations that Fisker ripped off his technology from Tesla, the Karma may have been appropriately named...

Actually, Fisker lifted the self-immolation technology from Ferrari.


Isn't that the technology Ferrari will use for the F70/Enzo 2?
 
2012-10-31 10:07:43 PM

Indubitably: cyberworm: Indubitably: Indubitably: Urinal Cake Mix: Justin Bieber drives one of these, yeah?

/come on SoCal hurricane!

Hurricane?

It's called the Quake

*)

P.S. Smart businesses would move inland, into the heartland.

Liberals melt in the rain.

Your label defeats your argument.


P.S. I am the Lion
 
2012-10-31 11:19:59 PM
Look at the bright side... If you are looking at a used one, you dont have to worry about it being a rebuilt salvage title due to flood damage... They obviously dont survive being submerged.
 
2012-10-31 11:46:28 PM

CameraMonkey: Look at the bright side... If you are looking at a used one, you dont have to worry about it being a rebuilt salvage title due to flood damage... They obviously dont survive being submerged.


While being submerged is usually pretty much a write-off of almost any car, I have to admit this one has a rather spectacular follow-through.
 
2012-11-01 12:32:57 AM
"... unexplained fires are a matter for the courts... Canyonero!!!"
 
2012-11-01 01:13:33 AM

Oznog: Rozinante: If my education in movies has taught me anything, it's that gasoline cars burst into flames all the time in the '70s. Give the technology time.

/mom had a Pinto.

Yeah I'm wondering when we'll see a movie with a good "electric car explosion".

It'd be easy enough to make something that looks "cool", and it's not like there's a requirement to be technically accurate here. But I think it would just confuse people, people expect cars to make fireballs, end of story.


Demolition Man might, MIGHT have beaten you to it.

/That's pure capacitance gel.
//BOOOOOOM
 
2012-11-01 01:19:23 AM
I count this as one of a very few times that a news article has suggested a more scientifically plausible explanation than the Fark comments. When lithium batteries short out, they overheat explosively. Makes me wonder why they allow cellphones on airplanes at all, really...
 
2012-11-01 01:46:21 AM
I know Jalopnik has a huge hate hard-on for electrics, but I wouldn't buy a laptop with a gas powered recharge either.

Tesla, on the other hand, sign me up.
 
2012-11-01 02:38:00 AM
i.imgur.com 
 
2012-11-01 03:29:52 AM
Karma's a biatch ...
 
2012-11-01 06:33:07 AM
"The vehicle, despite only being in limited production, has already experienced numerous fires due to equipment failures and electrical shorts. "

This could be the first in history where a hurricane has been reported as saving the lives of many people.
 
2012-11-01 07:38:06 AM

Tom_Slick: Just pointing out lithium will combust in water.


No it won't. It reacts with the water and releases hydrogen, but it doesn't burn and it doesn't produce enough heat to ignite the hydrogen.

This demonstration of alkali metals + water from the Open University is well worth watching.
 
2012-11-01 07:43:00 AM

The Jami Turman Fan Club: Is it even possible to seal a battery so well that it won't leak when submerged in seawater? The power's got to get out somehow.


I believe that water finds it hard to move along copper conductors.
 
2012-11-01 07:45:07 AM

Indubitably: Tesla works.


A pal of mine has a Tesla Roadster. It's great, if you want gut wrenching acceleration, a 50mph avergae speed on long trips, cramped cabin, horribly uncomfortable ride and a battery pack that costs $50,000 and lasts five year. And all for only twice the cost of a nice Porsche!
 
d3
2012-11-01 09:51:39 AM
But one of the pictures shows other Karmas that are completely intact. As twfeline pointed out, this was exacerbated by parking them all close together. When one went it took the others with them.
 
2012-11-01 09:57:27 AM
Karmas a biatch.
 
2012-11-01 12:18:18 PM
a little flicker then it's armed
 
2012-11-01 04:29:46 PM
I look forward to Nader's new book, "Unsafe At Any Depth".
 
2012-11-01 05:54:19 PM
And, bottom line, you are really going to turn the average driver loose with hydrogen?
That is your plan?
Really?

This is gonna be so good.
 
2012-11-01 06:16:42 PM

Vitamin Pb: ProfessorOhki: Tom_Slick: natgab: BalugaJoe: Justin Beeber has one.

My first thought: I hope Bieber was in one of them...

Yup and he had it Chromed, the whole car.

I thought you had to be kidding... but... but then...
[www.blogcdn.com image 628x405]

... WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT? 
n

OK, let's be honest. He's young and rich. And like him or not, I don't think I've heard of him actually being a douche.

So, you are (any age) and rich, and you can get a great looking sports car, and you can make it look like LIQUID METAL and DRIVE IN THE FUTURE.

Why wouldn't you do it?!


Blinding the driers around my expensive car would be pretty high on my list of "why this is a bad idea." Close would be "its kinda ugly."

On the flip side, it makes it really hard for photographers to not get themselves in the shot, which might almost be worth it.
 
2012-11-02 06:10:26 PM

ProfessorOhki: Vitamin Pb: ProfessorOhki: Tom_Slick: natgab: BalugaJoe: Justin Beeber has one.

My first thought: I hope Bieber was in one of them...

Yup and he had it Chromed, the whole car.

I thought you had to be kidding... but... but then...
[www.blogcdn.com image 628x405]

... WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT? 
n

OK, let's be honest. He's young and rich. And like him or not, I don't think I've heard of him actually being a douche.

So, you are (any age) and rich, and you can get a great looking sports car, and you can make it look like LIQUID METAL and DRIVE IN THE FUTURE.

Why wouldn't you do it?!

Blinding the driers around my expensive car would be pretty high on my list of "why this is a bad idea." Close would be "its kinda ugly."

On the flip side, it makes it really hard for photographers to not get themselves in the shot, which might almost be worth it.


More evidence for my theory...

Heh.

*)
 
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