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Earlier this month the lithium-ion battery used on a Boeing 787 Dreamliner caught fire whilst the plane sat idle at Logan Airport in Boston. A different Boeing 787 was then forced to land whilst flying over Japan. Questions were raised over the safety and reliability of the batteries and Boeing had to ground its entire fleet of state-of-the-art 787 Dreamliners.
People started to take more notice of lithium-ion batteries and it seems that they have had a past fraught with problems.
The New York Times wrote that “the lithium-ion batteries used on the aircraft had experienced multiple problems that raised questions about their reliability.”
USA Today reported that millions of laptop batteries have been recalled due to risks of fire or explosion; and in April 2011 a UPS plane crashed, killing both pilots, when its cargo of lithium-ion batteries started to burn.
Related article: Low Energy Light Bulbs Not So "Green" After All?
An even the electric vehicle industry has been plagued by troubles.
Battery packs in Chevy Volts have caught fire or started smoking, one luxury Fisker Karma completely burned up in California, and after being flooded during hurricane Sandy 16 others caught fire.
It seems odd then that car companies are allowed to continue selling their electric vehicles, and potentially dangerous that President Obama has so adamantly stated his desire to encourage more than one million electric cars to be on the road by 2015.
By. Joao Peixe of Oilprice.com
Joao is a writer for Oilprice.com