Another day, another Chevy Bolt EV fire, this time right outside a Chevrolet dealership in Clarksville, Maryland. Apparently, the vehicle actually belonged to an employee and the vehicle, predictably, had not had its battery pack replaced as part of the massive recall issued by General Motors for the Bolt EV and Bolt EUV models.
GM has narrowed down the cause of all these electric vehicle fires to either a torn anode tab or a folded separator within one of the 288 lithium-ion cells that make up the pack. Now, at the start of November, it finally started to replace the battery packs in affected models, after previously only giving owners recommendations (like how much to charge or to not park it inside overnight) or software updates.
And while this is sure to be a hassle for owners to have to take their vehicles in, at least the replacement pack will give their Bolt extra range, up from 238 to 259 miles. This is thanks to an increase in overall capacity from 60 kWh to 65 kWh, so while owners may not be pleased their vehicle has been recalled, at least they get a free range bonus and a brand new battery pack.
Owners are now eagerly awaiting to be informed when it is their turn to have their Bolt’s battery replaced. However, until the last possibly defective battery is replaced, we will still see Bolts catching fire because there are around 110,000 affected vehicles, so it will take GM months to go through them all.