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Stop! Donít Cut that Wire! Thatís a Chevy Volt!
Townhall.com ^ | March 21, 2012 | John Ransom

Posted on 03/21/2012 4:43:25 AM PDT by Kaslin

Grab the Cat” scene from the movie Lethal Weapon 3 is being played out in training rooms across America thanks to a generous $4.4 million grant from the Department of Energy.

If you’re not familiar with the scene, first responders, Detectives Riggs and Murtaugh, are trying to disarm a car bomb, while a cat plays nearby. Riggs doesn’t know which wire to snip, so he just snips one at random. As he watches the bomb’s timer begin to hyper-accelerate, he realizes that he’s cut the wrong wire. He casually says to his partner Roger Murtaugh, “Hey, Rog?”

“Yeah,” says Murtaugh.

“Grab the cat.”

The men and the cat escape in the nick of time.

Well that scene, minus the explosion, is just another of the unintended benefits brought to us by the award-winning designers of the Chevy Volt.

Unlike old-fashioned lead acid batteries, the Chevy Volt lithium battery contains enough of a punch that it can kill you- and anyone else who is not grounded- if first responders cut the wrong wires or even the right ones, as Stephen Smoot reminded us last week on Townhall.

After taking us through the procedure first responders are suppsoed to use to cut the wires, Smoot writes:

"General Motors also warns that 'cutting these cables can result in serious injury or death.'" 

Don't cut that wire! No, it's not a North Korean nuke. It's more dangerous: It's the power train of the Chevy Volt                

Emery - Volt Figure 8 (Courtesy of General Motors)

Nothing like making first responders’ jobs more hazardous. Give that car an award for design innovation!

“Besides attending to and rescuing the injured, first responders must now be aware of the potential hazards the new alternative-fuel technology may pose,” says Energyboom’s transportation correspondent Jace Shoemaker. “In order to keep both passengers and rescue crews safe, first responders must be aware of the potential for electrical shock, dangers of unintended vehicle movement, the challenges of charging stations and fires.”

According to the National Fire Protection Association, which is sponsoring training for first responders through the Department of Energy grant, “Training programs will help first responders ascertain whether the car is disabled or not, provide information about how to power down vehicles, demonstrate how to safely disconnect the high-voltage system, and show safe cut points for extrication.”

Before I even get in a vehicle, I always try to identify the safe cut points for extrication. My family and I make a game of it on the way to Grandma’s.

“Anyone who can guess the safe cut points for extrication gets to sit near one!” I say.

“Hurray, I’m going to live…assuming I don’t get electrocuted or crushed by unintended vehicle movement or burn up in a lithium-coolant fire,” says the winner.

In response, General Motors- after a year of sales- is considering ways to allow first responders to discharge the battery so they can have a safe working environment.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Editorial
KEYWORDS:
More in the link
1 posted on 03/21/2012 4:43:28 AM PDT by Kaslin
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To: Kaslin

The more they overthink the plumbing, the easier it is to stop up the drain.


2 posted on 03/21/2012 4:53:29 AM PDT by kosciusko51 (Enough of "Who is John Galt?" Who is Patrick Henry?)
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To: Kaslin

Volt=Vega


3 posted on 03/21/2012 4:54:03 AM PDT by hadaclueonce (you are paying 12% more for fuel because of Ethanol. Smile big Corn Lobby,)
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To: Kaslin

Good thing they didn’t use CFL lamps for light sources inside the Volt.


4 posted on 03/21/2012 4:55:19 AM PDT by Steely Tom (Obama goes on long after the thrill of Obama is gone)
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To: Kaslin

This high voltage hazard poses the same problem for first responders with hybrid cars like the Prius. I have often wondered about the consequences of an electric or hybrid car involved in an accident where the battery itself is ruptured. I presume the contents of the battery would constitute a hazardous material spill and require a response by a trained HazMat team.


5 posted on 03/21/2012 4:55:41 AM PDT by The Great RJ ("The problem with socialism is that pretty soon you run out of other people's money" M. Thatcher)
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To: Kaslin

Well, even if it doesn’t do something catastrophic to the Volt batteries, let’s just hope there’s not a “legacy” car spilling fuel underneath it.


6 posted on 03/21/2012 4:58:14 AM PDT by sam_paine (X .................................)
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To: Kaslin

I wonder if Al Qada or any other Islamic terrorist group has seen the possibilities of turning these Volts into car bombs.
I have seen up close and first hand as I still have the scars of what happens when just one diesel truck battery explodes.

The car has how many high output batteries?

Take them and wire in some heavy duty cross wire connections to create a timed massive short bypassing any fusible links or circuit breakers, no explosives needed.


7 posted on 03/21/2012 5:00:01 AM PDT by Eye of Unk (Liberals need not reply.)
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To: Kaslin

But let’s just write the tests for firefighters so that 98% of everyone can pass, okay?

Because it’s not like they’ll ever have to use their brains - they just point hoses at stuff.


8 posted on 03/21/2012 5:04:07 AM PDT by heartwood
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To: Kaslin

Not to defend gubmit motors....but the same thing applies to ALL Hybrids. The Prius is a rolling disaster as well. Toyota issued a guide book to all first responders when it came out detailing all the disasters that awaited within.


9 posted on 03/21/2012 5:05:36 AM PDT by Nekman (Liberals have no use for facts, they get in the way of the narrative.)
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To: All

This problem was actually far worse in the Honda Insight - the first road-able hybrid in the US. They were sold, but no one asked how rescue personnel were to handle them.

Honda got off the hook pretty easily - But after that, these “Electric” cars had to have some sort of rescue concession. When new models come out, the Highway Safety Commission releases diagrams of the layouts to Fire Department (If you have to pick a single first-responder, go with the fire department).

After this, a standard was developed. There is a “V” shape that can be cut as a good gamble if you don’t have the exact model memorized. The Honda CRZ and the Volt follow this standard.

This article is kinda sensational, IMO.


10 posted on 03/21/2012 5:06:11 AM PDT by Celerity
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To: sam_paine
The government doing what it does best: Creating problems for which it has the perfect answer.

even if it doesn’t do something catastrophic to the Volt batteries, let’s just hope there’s not a “legacy” car spilling fuel underneath it...

Let's make sure that does NOT happen... we'll mandate that ALL cars be electric.

11 posted on 03/21/2012 5:12:33 AM PDT by C210N
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To: The Great RJ

George Will once did a column on what an ecological disaster the Prius is. Once one considers how many exotic materials go into a Prius and how much energy is wasted mining and refining and then disposing of those materials at the end of the cars life, the Prius is less Eco-friendly than an Escalade


12 posted on 03/21/2012 5:27:30 AM PDT by muir_redwoods (No wonder this administration favors abortion; everything they have done is an abortion)
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To: muir_redwoods

You would think they could have designed it with a simple circuit breaker in it to cut off all electrical output.


13 posted on 03/21/2012 5:31:16 AM PDT by Venturer
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To: Kaslin

Sledge Hammer defusing a nuclear bomb
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XGoU7urNTbI


14 posted on 03/21/2012 5:41:12 AM PDT by DUMBGRUNT (The best is the enemy of the good!)
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To: Eye of Unk
I have seen up close and first hand as I still have the scars of what happens when just one diesel truck battery explodes.

When a conventional lead/acid batter explodes, it's generally due to a buildup of hydrogen gas generated by the battery. I'm pretty sure that these "modern" batteries don't produce these gasses.

Mark

15 posted on 03/21/2012 5:44:47 AM PDT by MarkL (Do I really look like a guy with a plan?)
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To: hadaclueonce
Hey! I had 4 of them once! 4 pieces of sheet metal, 1/8 thick, welded together, are just as strong as 1 piece of steel 1/2" thick. They just merely have 8 surfaces to rust instead of 2, so they rust out 4 times faster!
16 posted on 03/21/2012 5:59:13 AM PDT by Elsie (Heck is where people, who don't believe in Gosh, think they are not going)
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To: C210N
No No No the gov-mint does it's best in creating problems where none existed in order to employ affirmative action folks to think up stupid answers to correct the thing gov-mint created.
17 posted on 03/21/2012 6:06:18 AM PDT by tiger63
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To: Kaslin

On the bright side, there aren’t many of these “Volt” cars on the roads. See? It’s a safety feature.


18 posted on 03/21/2012 6:17:57 AM PDT by Standing Wolf
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To: Eye of Unk

There is a lot more energy in a tank full of gasoline.


19 posted on 03/21/2012 6:39:58 AM PDT by FreedomPoster (Islam delenda est)
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To: Eye of Unk
China has a bus which runs on ultracapacitors. Now visualize all that energy getting involved in a collision where the capacitors explode
20 posted on 03/21/2012 6:49:14 AM PDT by PapaBear3625 (In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act. - George Orwell)
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To: FreedomPoster
There is a lot more energy in a tank full of gasoline.

Gasoline fires respond to water and foam. Guess what happens to a fireman who turns his hose on a Volt before he realizes it's an electric car?

21 posted on 03/21/2012 6:53:43 AM PDT by PapaBear3625 (In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act. - George Orwell)
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To: Kaslin
So the thing is a piece of junk and a death trap...not only for its occupants, but for their would-be RESCUERS, as well.

Odumbo-n-his-Dolt. Dolt Squared. You just can't make this stuff up.

22 posted on 03/21/2012 7:00:58 AM PDT by Miss Behave (All ways, always.)
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To: MarkL
I'm pretty sure that these "modern" batteries don't produce these gasses.

Maybe not explosive but highly toxic.

Back in the 80s the Minuteman III Launch Facilities had massive Lithium Ion batteries installed for extended survival power. It cost millions of dollars.

Maintenance troops penetrating the sites started noticing bulges in the batteries and the Air Force found they were deteriorating and leaking extremely hazardous gases into the underground, closed, Launcher Equipment areas.

The maintenance troops then had to take out special detectors which had to be lowered into the equipment area prior to the teams climbing down.

The batteries were removed after a few years at the cost of several million more dollars.

Lithium Ion batteries that size are really dangerous.

23 posted on 03/21/2012 7:05:17 AM PDT by OldMissileer (Atlas, Titan, Minuteman, PK. Winners of the Cold War)
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To: Kaslin
Unlike old-fashioned lead acid batteries, the Chevy Volt lithium battery contains enough of a punch that it can kill you- and anyone else who is not grounded-

Not grounded??? When dealing with high voltages you do not want to be grounded. Assuming that you're dealing with a crashed car with bent metal parts from the car touching the pavement you are at far more risk of conducting electricity yourself if you are grounded.

A squirrel running along the electrical line is safe just so long as he doesn't touch both the wire and a ground wire/grounded pole (or opposite phasae elctrical wire) at the same time. When he does, he pops like a furry overloaded fuse. The same will happen to someone cutting a high voltage/high current wire while also touching the grounded part of the circuit.

24 posted on 03/21/2012 7:12:20 AM PDT by KarlInOhio (You only have three billion heartbeats in a lifetime.How many does the government claim as its own?)
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To: hadaclueonce; Elsie
Volt=Vega

The difference is that the Vega was about a $2,500 car (about $12K today) while the Volt starts in the 40K range.
25 posted on 03/21/2012 7:17:52 AM PDT by Dr. Sivana (May Mitt Romney be the Paul Tsongas of 2012.)
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To: Kaslin

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l0sDe-MuBt0

The Terminator movie had an interesting take on robot batteries exploding.


26 posted on 03/21/2012 8:30:20 AM PDT by JudgemAll (Democrats Fed. job-security Whorocracy & hate:hypocrites must be gay like us or be tested/crucified)
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To: Venturer
Remember the hue and cry when it came out that the Ford Pinto's gas tank problem could have been fixed with a $13 part?

How much noise will we hear after a few first-responders are zapped by these rolling electric chairs and the problem could have been addressed with a circuit breaker?

(crickets)

27 posted on 03/21/2012 9:17:56 AM PDT by muir_redwoods (No wonder this administration favors abortion; everything they have done is an abortion)
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To: PapaBear3625

But; as long as the FLUX is not spilt; then the timeline would remain intact.


28 posted on 03/21/2012 10:00:05 AM PDT by Elsie (Heck is where people, who don't believe in Gosh, think they are not going)
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To: KarlInOhio
A squirrel running along the electrical line is safe just so long as he doesn't touch both the wire and a ground wire/grounded pole (or opposite phasae elctrical wire) at the same time.

Indeed!

I was astounded a few years ago when, right above the 230 KV(?) lines running thru my property, a helicopter was hovering and a man dangling from it was doing something to the wires!

29 posted on 03/21/2012 10:17:22 AM PDT by Elsie (Heck is where people, who don't believe in Gosh, think they are not going)
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To: Elsie

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OfnYuANLh5k


30 posted on 03/21/2012 10:21:53 AM PDT by SZonian (Throwing our allegiances to political party's in the long run gave away our liberty.)
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