Who knew a slo-mo car crash could look so celestial? Of course it helps that the car, going about 29 mph, was made of Lego pieces.
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c't went to the crash test experts from ADAC and crashed the model car just like a big one (EURO-NCAP, 40% offset). The crash was filmed with several high speed cameras with 1000 fps.
In several crash tests, the battery on a Chevy Volt began to heat up or burst into flame. The battery problems happened a few days or weeks after the impact and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is investigating. (One potential factor: NHTSA testers didn't drain the batteries of juice after the crash, which is recommended. As a comparison, it's standard practice to drain a gas tank after a similar collision. So this could be an issue of new technology learning curve.) If you want to better understand why a battery that's been through a car accident could burst into flame, I'd recommend reading this piece by the Midwest Energy News. It's a nice summary of how lithium-ion batteries work, and how they respond to damage. Read the rest