Duke Energy Warns Customers to Not Use EV Charging Stations After Fire Involving Siemens Charger and Chevy Volt

Siemens VersiCharge charging station, like the one installed in a home garage that burned in Moorseville, NC.

After a house fire in Mooresville, NC which started in the home’s garage was traced the the area near a charging station for an electric vehicle, WSOC-TV reported that Duke Energy, which installed the Siemens built charging station, has warned customers to not use similar units while the investigation into the fire proceeds. When fire investigators went through the burned out garage, they found a Chevy Volt plugged into the 240 volt station, the second garage fire reportedly involving a Volt. Since it was not the only electrical appliance plugged in that area of the garage, the charging station may not be at fault. The Iredell County Fire Marshal’s office said, “The charging station was in the known area of origin, but the cause of the fire has not been officially determined.”

Though the brand of car in the garage was not mentioned in the news reports, since General Motors is joining Siemens, Duke Energy and the US Dept. of Transportation in the investigation, I think it’s safe to assume that it’s a Chevy Volt. This apparently the second garage fire that has consumed a Chevy Volt. Last April, the garage of an EV enthusiast in Barkhamsted, Connecticut burned both a Volt and a homebrew EV conversion of a Suzuki Samurai. At the time, GM investigators said that the fire did not start in the Volt.

The charging station at the Moorseville home was installed as part of a pilot program at Duke Energy that offers them to customers in North and South Carolina.  County officials say that permits have been issued for at least 29 charging stations in and around Charlotte, some at private homes, others at parking decks.  I presume the “at least” part means that single permits are drawn for multiple chargers in one location. Duke CEO Jim Rogers has been an advocate of EVs and the installation of more chargers in Charlotte in time for the Democrat’s national convention, which will be held in that city in 2012.




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43 Responses to Duke Energy Warns Customers to Not Use EV Charging Stations After Fire Involving Siemens Charger and Chevy Volt

  1. Pingback: Electric Vehicles a Household Fire Hazzard. | Liberty's Blog

  2. Pingback: Chevy Volt Again Suspected in House Fire | PluginEurope.com

  3. Pingback: Another Burning Chevy Volt Destroys NC House « SOYLENT GREEN

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  5. greenstar says:

    This news does not surprise me at all, we have discovered another inherent danger with EV charging stations, I am a EVSE Expert and discovered that if these stations are hit by a vehicle or vandalized could lead to someone getting electrocuted and killed. The industry has done a great job protecting the unit itself but has not thought this all the way through. There is no protection from the power source to the unit and manufacturers are depending on the unit grounding out if such an accident happens. In a real life scenario the unit could be hit hard enough to knock off its pedestal and leave high voltage wires exposed. The industry in a whole is expecting approx. 1.4 million stations by 2015 and these stations will be installed on walkways, parking garages, parking lots, etc. There are also other important factors that were overlooked and when ppl catch on its another way for folks to make some serious money. Something has to be done to protect our consumers and Citizens from this inherent danger.

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  13. GeoffH says:

    The Charger in the home was not a VersiCharge. (you should correct that).
    Also, initial investigations show the fire started away from vehicles (electric and gas).

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