THE owner of a new electric Porsche was said to be mortified when his pride and joy was engulfed in acrid smoke at a Red Hill winery last week.
The $350,000 2021 Taycan Cross Turismo had just been driven into Eldridge Estate, Arthurs Seat Road, when smoke began coming out from under the bonnet, 2pm, Wednesday 13 October.
Red Hill CFA Lieutenant David Breadmore, who was on the scene within five minutes, along with three appliances and six firefighters, said their quick action prevented more extensive damage to the grey sports sedan – reputedly the only one of its kind in Australia.
Extinguishing the blaze was problematic as the fire shut down the 12-volt electrical system preventing crews from opening the bonnet to get at the lithium battery. They were advised by Porsche Australia to use jumper leads to short-circuit the system so they could open the bonnet.
“It was a real nightmare extinguishing the fire in the sealed lithium system,” Lieutenant Breadmore said.
Adding to the problem was that wiring is colour-coded differently in Germany: brown is positive and blue negative and not red and black as in Australia.
“The owner was very upset as he had had the car for only three days,” Lieutenant Breadmore said.
“He was lucky he didn’t lose the whole car, but there was reasonably significant damage to the 12-volt system. He was able to get it trucked back to Porsche.”
Lieutenant Breadmore said he was concerned about the increasing number of electric cars on the roads having different cut-off systems.
“Extinguishing these types of fires is a very technical procedure,” he said. “Battery fires can stay hot and combustible for hours.”