This is obvious if you read the comments on the video attached below. Many swear that electric vehicles are nothing short of ticking bombs on wheels, despite the evidence suggesting they are much safer than ICE vehicles. Still, EVs do burst into flames from time to time, and the source of the fire is, obviously, an electrical problem. In some rare cases, this might be related to the high-voltage battery, but in most cases, it’s an electrical fault or a short circuit that causes the fire.
This is also the case with a Volkswagen ID.4 that burst into flames while charging at an Electrify America station. The video was shot in the parking lot of a Walmart store in Tracey, California, which hosts an Electrify America charging station. Judging by the fact that the flames originate from the charge port area, we can assume this was caused by a bad connection or wiring that led to overheating. Luckily, the high-voltage battery wasn’t affected, and the firefighters could quickly put out the flames before they engulfed the entire car.
This is, sadly, not the first fire incident involving a Volkswagen ID.4. In November 2021, another one burnt to a crisp in an underground parking garage in Germany. That one was too left charging when the fire occurred, although the investigation doesn’t reveal what caused the fire. Back to the Tracey, CA, fire, we can tell by the wheels that this is a 2023 Volkswagen ID.4 built at Volkswagen’s Chattanooga plant in Tennessee.
The video also shows that the charger the EV was hooked to was one of the newer Electrify America cabinets. These chargers have been involved in controversial incidents lately after several EVs have been bricked during charging. In some cases, it was reported that the plug overheated to the point that the owner could not unplug it from the vehicle. Others said “sparking and smoke” came from the charger while the car was plugged in. Bizarrely, that charger was also installed in a Walmart parking lot.
According to Twitter user @PradyPunch, the charger involved in the fire was a BTC dispenser installed in November 2022. They said the charger hadn’t worked for over a week before this incident. It looks like it was working enough to cause a fire in this case.