The explosion of a 2019 Hyundai Kona Electric in a Montreal, Canada, garage Saturday literally blew the doors off.
The owner, Piero Cosantino, told the CBC the car was not even plugged in at the time of the explosion.
The report was the first in North America, and possibly the first report in the world, of a Kona Electric explosion or fire.
No one was injured, though the blast blew the doors off Cosantino's garage and caused extensive damage to his house.
About 30 firefighters responded, but no cause has yet been determined for the blaze.
"We are currently working with authorities and fire investigators in Montreal to understand the root cause of the incident, as this is not yet known," said Hyundai Canada spokesman Jean-Francois Taylor. "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."
There have been some reports of fires in the lithium-ion battery packs of Tesla vehicles, mostly Model S. A couple of early fires were traced to road debris, and Tesla updated the cars with reinforcements ahead of the battery pack.
Director Michael Morris's Tesla Model S on fire [PHOTO CREDIT - MARY MCCORMICK]
The causes of more recent fires, including one in Hollywood director Michael Morris' Model S in Santa Monica, California last year, another in the Santa Cruz mountains in California after a flat tire, have not been released. Tesla announced that more recent fire in Hong Kong, when a Model S exploded in a parking garage, was traced to a faulty battery cell.
Automakers and scientists are developing new types of batteries such as solid-state lithium-ion technology in part to reduce the volatility in lithium batteries. With safer batteries, engineers could pack more energy density into battery packs without worry about fires, and without additional fire suppression systems that add size, weight, and cost. So far no solid-state batteries have overcome all the obstacles to make it to market.
Honda fluoride-based solid-state battery
Without further investigation of the Montreal fire, it's impossible to tell if the Kona Electric is any more susceptible to fires than any other cars. Gasoline, however, is also very volatile, and is responsible for nearly 250,000 car fires a year in the U.S.
The Kona Electric was a finalist in Green Car Reports' Best Car to Buy competition for 2019.