There are conflicting media reports about whether the vehicle was plugged in at the time of the incident.
“It is still too early to draw conclusions as to what may have caused the incident,” Gabrielle Fontaine-Giroux of the Montreal Fire Department said. “The [department] is ensuring proper follow-up with electric vehicle experts.”
She didn’t answer when asked whether the vehicle was plugged in or charging at the time of the fire.
Transport Canada said it would provide more information Tuesday or Wednesday morning, at the latest.
Lithium battery fires aren’t new to the industry.
Earlier this year, fires involving Tesla Inc. and Nio Inc. cars in China prompted the industry there to take steps to alleviate concerns from potential customers. Tesla said a single battery module caused a car to catch fire in Shanghai and that it has revised vehicle settings to further protect batteries. Nio recalled 4,803 units after three fire incidents in China.
Mitsubishi in 2013 stopped production of the Outlander plug-in hybrid crossover — and briefly ceased Japanese sales — after one lithium ion battery melted at a dealership and another caught fire in an assembly plant.
In 2012, Chrysler Group LLC temporarily sidelined 109 trucks and 23 minivans in plug-in hybrid test fleets due to overheating batteries in some of the pickup trucks. There were no fires or injuries and the incidents occurred when the trucks were unoccupied, the automaker said at the time.
But a 2017 report by the U.S. National Highway traffic Safety Administration concluded: "The propensity and severity of fires and explosions from the accidental ignition of flammable electrolytic solvents used in [lithium-ion] battery systems are anticipated to be somewhat comparable to or perhaps slightly less than those for gasoline or diesel vehicular fuels."