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EVLN(CNN: GEM fire)

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  • Bruce EVangel Parmenter
    EVLN(CNN: GEM fire) [The Internet Electric Vehicle List News. For Public EV informational purposes. Contact publication for reprint rights.] ... [This POST is
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 7, 2002
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      EVLN(CNN: GEM fire)
      [The Internet Electric Vehicle List News. For Public EV
      informational purposes. Contact publication for reprint rights.]
      --- {EVangel}
      [This POST is broadcasted on the EV groups that have
      discussed this topic. The following CNN piece shows too
      much media visibility has been brought. I suggest that
      your corrections and views be sent to the media]

      -
      http://www.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0207/31/ltm.02.html
      CNN AMERICAN MORNING WITH PAULA ZAHN
      Interview of Jean Jennings
      Aired July 31, 2002 - 08:54 ET

      THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL
      FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

      BILL HEMMER, CNN ANCHOR: Model Veronica Webb says her
      efforts at being eco-friendly ended in tragedy when her
      electric car overcharged. Web says the car burst into
      flames, sent fire spewing through air conditioning system,
      burning down her home and killing her dog. Apparently it is
      not the first example of the hidden dangers inside of
      electric cars. Let's talk more about it.

      From Ann Arbor, Michigan, this morning, the dangers and how
      to avoid them. Jean Jennings, editor-in-chief of
      "Automobile" magazine. Gene, good morning to you.

      JEAN JENNINGS, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, "AUTOMOBILE" MAGAZINE: Good
      morning to you.

      HEMMER: How strange is this, what happened with Miss Webb?

      JENNINGS: Well, you know, this is not -- we say electric
      car, but what she had was actually an electric golf cart.
      That's classified by the government as an NEV, a
      neighborhood electric vehicle. So the batteries in her
      vehicle are more like golf cart batteries. These are zero
      emission vehicles, but they're not zero maintenance
      vehicles. Actually, anyone who own as golf cart knows that
      they're very high maintenance.

      HEMMER: User error, I think, is what you're suggesting,
      Jean. Am I reading too much between the lines?

      JENNINGS: Well, I have to say that if you look at the
      owner's manual of her vehicle, I counted on 20 out of 30
      pages, there were giant warnings and cautions. They require
      these batteries to be maintained weekly -- weekly.

      HEMMER: Wow.

      JENNINGS: Can you imagine this? I mean, you wouldn't think
      of that for your car.

      HEMMER: I would agree with that. It's a Chrysler GEM -- GEM
      stands for global electric motorcar. You're saying it's the
      equivalent of a golf cart.

      JENNINGS: It really is a golf cart. It has some government
      requirements because too many people were driving their golf
      carts on the street. So This vehicle can't go on any street
      that's over a 35- mile an hour speed limit. It's governed at
      25 miles an hour. There are just modest safety things, like
      turn signals, lights, a horn. And I read in the reports that
      she said there were four hidden batteries. In fact,
      everywhere in that owner's manual it says there are six
      batteries, four under the seat, two in the front. One of
      those batteries is just for the equipment, like the horn and
      the lights. In every case...

      HEMMER: Jean, we're going to put you down in the category as
      defending the Chrysler GEM. But from the company's
      standpoint here, DaimlerChrysler released a statement, just
      to be on the record here -- I am quoting now -- "We have
      been communicating with Ms. Webb's representatives and are
      working with them to investigate the incident at her home in
      Key West, Florida. We also have searched our records and
      have not identified any other reports of fires related to
      the use or charging of GEM vehicles."

      Get away from this for a moment. The hybrids from Honda and
      Toyota. How are they different, and are they safer?

      JENNINGS: These are not purely electric vehicles. They're
      hybrids. You don't plug them in, so there is no -- there is
      not that danger of the charging. The electricity in those
      hybrid vehicles comes when you brake. When you brake, the
      energy generated by the braking is stored as electricity in
      a very different sort of battery. It doesn't have little
      posts on -- that have to be hooked up and cleaned. So it's
      quite a bit different vehicle.

      HEMMER: Let me go to a different topic here, one that
      confounds me a little bit. Static electricity in regular
      cars at the gas pump starting fires. Make sense of this.

      JENNINGS: Well, frankly, there is always some kind of vapor
      around gasoline being put in your car, and it's the same
      thing with electricity being charged. The American Petroleum
      Equipment Institute has found many cases of refueling fires,
      and almost every one involves a woman, because women tend to
      get back in the car while the hose is still in the pump
      refueling. When they get out of the car, static electricity
      can cause a spark that will cause that fire. So women...

      HEMMER: Simply by getting in and out of the car, it can
      create that much static electricity that can start a fire?

      JENNINGS: It doesn't take much. It just takes a little bit,
      and you know walking on a carpet can cause a little static
      charge. What is important to know is, you shouldn't get in
      and out of the car. You should probably never use a cell
      phone because of the charge around the cell phone. But just
      to be sure, if you take your hands off the pump, you should
      touch the car, touch some metal, to discharge any static
      that may have collected around your body before you pick the
      pump up again.

      HEMMER: Good warnings to heed. Jean Jennings, again, with us
      today, the editor-in-chief of "Automobile" magazine. Some
      amazing stuff there, to be quite frank with you, but stuff
      to look out for too. Thank you, Jean, we will talk again.

      TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-
      CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT
      www.fdch.com
      -




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      . EV List Editor & RE newswires
      . http://egroups.com/group/evangel
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