The Chevy Bolt is notorious for spontaneously catching on fire. Hyundai replaced 82,000 battery systems in its Kona EVs last year over similar non-crash fires. And we’ve reported on plenty of Tesla fires over the past several years. Now, Jaguar I-Pace EVs are seeing similar incidents. And percentage-wise, about the same amount of I-Pace EVs, have lit up as Chevy Bolts. Is this a cause for concern?
How similar are the I-Pace, Bolt, and Kona fires?
Though it may seem benign, four I-Pace EV fires have been reported recently, including the latest one in Florida. The I-Pace uses the same LG Chem battery cells as both Hyundai and Chevrolet. And according to Inside EVs, 17 Chevy Bolts have spontaneously caught on fire, out of 140,000 sold. That is the same percentage as the four out of 50,000 Jaguar I-Pace EVs.
In a statement, Jaguar says, “Jaguar Land Rover North America, LLC is committed to our customer’s safety, and we are aware of this I-PACE incident in Boynton Beach, FL. We have been in contact with and are cooperating with the customer’s insurance company expert regarding a vehicle inspection. JLRNA is unable to comment further on your questions until the investigation is completed.”
How did this I-Pace fire happen?
The Florida I-Pace incident began while charging in a garage. Once it began generating black smoke, the owner quickly drove it out into the street. As soon as he got out of the car it began to flame.
Here’s what owner Gonzalo Salazar told Electrek, “On June 16, I plugged the car in before going to bed. On the morning of June 17, I woke up and unplugged the car. Later that morning I set out to run some errands. I drove about 12 miles that morning before returning back home and parking the car back in the garage, leaving the garage door open. As I was doing things at home, I heard pops coming from the garage. I decided to go see where the sounds were coming from, and upon walking into the garage, I faced a thick wall of smoke. My thought immediately was, ‘When there is smoke there is fire,’ and I need to get the car out of the house garage.”
Jaguar now has the I-Pace remains.
The fire required special fire suppressing foam to finally put it out. After the insurance company sent out a team of forensic specialists to examine what remained of the car, Jaguar Land Rover took the car away to do a complete evaluation to determine a cause. It has not made public what, if anything, it discovered.
Once battery fires became an issue with the Chevrolet Bolt and Hyundai Kona, both companies issued recalls. As they use the same LG battery cells as the I-Pace, this could portend a recall as well. Looking at the pictures from the Hungary I-Pace fire posted online, the damage looks to be identical. We’ll update if anything new is provided.