So now we potentially get a glimpse at the “dark side” of electric cars.
I say “potentially” because firefighters and other officials have yet to determine the exact cause of a garage fire in Barkhamsted, Connecticut, which claimed the lives of the two electric cars as they innocently charged overnight.
One of the cars was a 2011 Chevy Volt with just 2,000 miles on it. *Sniff* it was so young. The other was an older Suzuki Samurai that the owner, Storm Connors (sounds a bit like an action-hero name, doesn’t it?), had converted to electric.
It’s too early to say whether one or both of the cars somehow contributed to the blaze, but officials are already a tad suspicious. I’d be too, especially since the Suzuki was converted over from gasoline. I don’t know the circumstances of the car’s conversion—whether it was a do-it-yourself job or professionally done, whether the guy was a hack or an expert—but something about those kinds of projects makes me cringe when they end in fireballs.
It should also be noted that Storm Connors converted the Suzuki years ago, with no problems until the Volt joined it in the garage. It’s entirely possible that charging the two simultaneously was too great a strain on the garage’s electrical system. Perhaps it was solely a problem with the Volt, which re-ignited several days after the blaze was extinguished. Maybe it was the home charging system Connors rigged up himself as described in his own blog.
If I were less cynical, I wouldn't foresee this story becoming ammunition for the EV-bashing community if it manages to blow up into the national spotlight. Sigh.
What really matters, of course, is that no human lives were lost. The Connors’ house is in good shape as well, as Storm Connors (himself a fireman) had smartly installed a firewall between the garage and house which proved quite effective in quarantining the fire in the garage.
Then again, maybe Skynet is running out of Terminators to send back in time after deciding to eliminate anybody with the last name “Connor.” Chevy Volt, slave of Skynet? All hail our hybrid overlords!