Lithium batteries are not toys.
Rich Benoit of Rich Rebuilds fame had started an awesome new project with his friend, Lee. They had found a sort of princess parade car and decided to convert it to run on battery power. Specifically, Tesla battery power. Nicknamed Daisy, that project has now been put on permanent hold. The reason, as you may have guessed by the video above, is because the cells that were supposed to give it life instead brought a flaming death. Luckily, no one was hurt and the whole episode was caught by multiple cameras.
The footage underlines the danger of repurposing lithium batteries. In this case, they hadn’t been connected to a management system and something triggered a thermal runaway. Though we’ve yet to get a complete post-mortem, typically this sort of “impressive” firework display is triggered by overcharging cells or a physically damaging them, causing them to short out.
Reportedly, a total of six fire extinguishers were used to help contain the blaze before the fire department arrived to take over. As you can see, cells popped out of the modules and launched skyward creating a danger zone that extended far beyond the princess-mobile. We can only hope the dramatic footage serves as a warning to those who would attempt similar projects without a strong knowledge of how to properly manage lithium batteries.
To see how this whole unfortunate episode began, we’ve included (below) an earlier episode involving the unique vehicle. Though obviously concerning, the situation hasn’t dampened Benoit’s enthusiasm for future projects. He’s currently trying to open his own garage to continue his scrapped Tesla resuscitation work.