Rivian had a ‘small’ battery fire at its electric pickup truck factory

Rivian had a ‘small’ battery fire at its electric pickup truck factory in Normal, Illionois, according to the local fire department.

After a few delays, Rivian finally started production of its R1T electric pickup truck last month.

It is now trying to ramp up production, but according to its latest filing, the company is still limited to building about one truck per day.

Now, Rivian has had a setback in its production ramp, as a fire occurred in its factory last night.

The Normal Fire Department wrote in a report:

“The Rivian Automotive Assembly Plant in Normal, Illinois, was evacuated for a short time as a precaution following a small fire which ignited in an automated battery assembly area. Damage was negligible and no one was injured. Normal firefighters responded to the report of a fire in the battery assembly area just after 5:00 p.m. Firefighters located a small fire in an automated battery sub-assembly area and used a hose line to extinguish the fire quickly and cool the cells to prevent thermal runaway. There was minimal smoke which was ventilated from the building using the HVAC system and exhaust fans, and the employees were allowed to return to the building after a short time. Plant maintenance and cleaning staff were working to clean up the water and return the plant to regular operations. There was no damage to the plant building itself and the assembly process was unaffected. A battery sub-module is one of several sub-modules which are assembled to create a full vehicle battery pack, which is what powers the completed vehicle. The battery sub-module is about the size of a briefcase.”

They didn’t elaborate on the cause of the fire other than saying that it originated in a battery “sub module”.

There’s no data that shows that electric car fires are more frequent than gasoline-powered car fires, which happen every day.

However, electric car fires have received a lot of attention because it’s a new technology and some fires have been linked to battery defects.

In the last year, both Hyundai and GM have issued important EV recalls due to a defect found in battery cells produced by LG.

Rivian uses cells from Samsung SDI in its new R1T electric pickup truck.

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