Motoramic

Fisker Karma EVs caught in Hurricane Sandy floods catch fire, burn

Justin Hyde
Motoramic

As residents of New York and New Jersey continue to attempt a resumption of normal life in the wake of hurricane/nor'easter/superstorm Sandy, there's been several surprises at the damage revealed when the waters receded. The photo above courtesy of Jalopnik shows one of about 16 $102,000 Fisker Karma electric-gas hybrids that apparently caught fire and burned after they were submerged in salt water at a New Jersey port. Note to Justin Bieber: Don't take your Karma driving on the beach for now.

According to a statement by Fisker, the company has not been able to investigate the scene in the Port of Newark, where the sedans had been stored after being shipped from their manufacturing plant in Finland, but there's no reports of injuries. The cars were sitting in an open lot, not connected to any electrical outlets, when the fire took place.

Flood-damaged cars can be a disaster in any situation, but the Fisker fire reveals another unique challenge of electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids. The Karma's battery pack, built by bankrupt battery maker A123 Systems, had already been traced to an earlier set of Karma fires; being paired so closely with a two-liter gasoline engine may have only fueled the conflagration. Flood-damaged cars create a lingering problem from any serious storm, but as with much of its existence the Fisker Karma is blazing a new path, for better and worse.

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