An interesting video of an electric car that caught fire while charging on January 25, 2021 was recently uploaded on the Chinese Weibo platform.
According to media reports, it's a Chery Arrizo E model (or its rebadged Kaiyi version), used for ride-hailing service. The car is reportedly equipped with 54.3 kWh CATL battery cells (NCM type).
**UPDATE: It appears as though the video is viewable only in select countries.
The scenario is typical it seems - the car was connected to the charging station, and probably charging. At some point, the smoke appeared (which indicated an issue/fire in the battery pack) and lasted for quite some time, until the firefighters come into action.
Then... a surprising thing happened. There was a passenger inside the vehicle, who leaves and was walking around the car for a minute or so, just before the explosion.
Fortunately, no one was injured, according to Moneyball. It would be tragic if the person stayed in the vehicle for a minute longer.
This is another example for all of us of how the EV battery fires progresses - usually, there is only smoke in the beginning and it lasts long enough to leave. However, as the temperature goes up (the water cooling is usually not enough), the pack explodes and the vehicle goes up in flames. We saw a similar scenario in the case of Opel Ampera-e (a discontinued European version of the Chevrolet Bolt EV) a few months ago.
In other words, stay away from any vehicle that is smoking. There is nothing much that one can do to save the vehicle at that point. Hopefully, the fire firefighters will be equipped with a professional solution to prevent the explosion and full destruction.