Nikola Lithium-ion Battery Fires Part of Growing Threat?

Electric truck maker Nikola has seen its second vehicle fire this week being blamed on overheating lithium-ion batteries.

One if its semi-trucks caught fire near the company’s Phoenix headquarters in Arizona, following a similar incident earlier that week in Tempe, Arizona, which affected one battery pack in the Tre electric truck, Reuters reports. Nikola announced in August a recall of all battery-powered electric trucks it had delivered and paused sales after an investigation into some earlier fires. A total of 209 battery-powered electric trucks were in the marketplace between dealers and customers at the time of the recall.

The latest truck to catch fire was a pre-production unit that was undergoing battery fire investigation and testing, the company said. An investigation in June after trucks at its headquarters caught fire cited a coolant leak inside a battery pack as the cause following the investigation.

Lithium-ion batteries are increasingly being blamed for a spate of fires from e-scooters in India, to the sinking of a car transport ship off the coast of Holland and now in Yorkshire, UK, where fire chiefs have reported a huge rise in battery fires. Some have involved e-scooters and power tools left on charge overnight while still more small fires affect dumpster trucks where disposable vape machines, powered by lithium-ion batteries, have been discarded into general waste.

— Paul Myles is a seasoned automotive journalist based in Europe. Follow him on Twitter @Paulmyles_  and Threads

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