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No One Knows Why This Hyundai Kona EV Exploded

Electric Car / 24 Comments

This puts range anxiety into perspective.

We caught this report from CBC covering a Hyundai Kona EV in Île-Bizard, Canada, that caught fire then exploded in the owner's garage. Not only did it completely destroy the car, but blew the garage door off and put a hole in the roof. Both Montreal authorities and Hyundai Canada are currently investigating the incident.

The Kona EV owner, Piero Cosentino, told CBC that he saw smoke coming from his garage moments before the explosion reverberated through his home and blew the garage door off of its tracks and across the street. "As soon as I saw that, I immediately turned off the breaker," he said.

Cosentino also told the broadcast company that he had bought the vehicle in March and couldn't explain why the fire and explosion happened. There have been conflicting reports about whether the vehicle was plugged in and charging or not.

Hyundai Canada spokesman Jean-François Taylor told Automotive News Canada via an email statement that: "We are working with authorities and fire investigators in Montreal to understand the root cause of the incident, as this is not yet known. As is always the case, the safety of our customers is our first priority and we will push to fully understand the issue as quickly as possible."

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It's worth mentioning that while electric vehicles catching fire always gets a lot of press coverage, gasoline and diesel-powered vehicles also catch fire and at a higher rate than EVs. Due to the nature of the battery technology used in EVs, the fires are typically harder to put out but explosions are rare. However, Louise Desrosiers, a Division Chief from the Montreal Fire Department, told Radio Canada that "It was a fully electric vehicle, and there was nothing around that could have caused the explosion. We will be following up closely with the owner to understand the problem in anticipation of other cases."

Pictures of incident by Mathieu Daniel Wagner/Radio-Canada.