Tuesday, January 21, 2020
News BMW i8 Catches Fire In Europe Dealership, Gets Dropped In Huge Bath

BMW i8 Catches Fire In Europe Dealership, Gets Dropped In Huge Bath

A BMW i8 caught fire in a Netherlands dealership, forcing firefighters to get creative.

When employees of a dealership in Tilburg, Netherlands noticed smoke coming from the BMW i8 in the showroom, they immediately rolled the car out and called for help.

The firefighters who responded to the scene had to come up with an unusual solution to make sure the fire was contained. Electric vehicles, or PHEV models like the BMW i8, often draw their power from lithium-ion batteries which can be quite volatile if exposed to heat or on fire as was the case here.

BMW i8 on fire in the Netherlands
BMW i8 on fire in the Netherlands | Photo: Brandweer Midden- en West-Brabant

The solution? Drop the car into a container filled with water and likely other chemicals, and keep it there for 24 hours. The pictures of the incident were then shared on Facebook yesterday. From what we can tell, the smoke is coming from the front of the car where an electric motor is used to power the front axle. The exact cause of the fire hasn’t been identified as of yet.

As you can imagine, the BMW is a total loss, but no one else was injured.

BMW i8 Quick Take

BMW i8 Roadster
BMW i8 Roadster | Photo: BMW

The BMW i8 has a rather unique powertrain in that it uses a 3-cylinder engine delivering 231 horsepower which is paired to two electric motors. The i8 got a bump in power earlier this year at the Detroit Auto Show with horsepower now reaching 369 and range now rated at 55 kilometers. A 11.6-kWh lithium-ion battery pack replaced the previous 7.1-kWh setup.  is used to power the electric engines and provide roughly 30 kilometers of range. The car costs a touch over $150,000 in Canada and is offered in both coupe and roadster configurations.

BMW i8 on fire in the Netherlands | Photo: Brandweer Midden- en West-Brabant

BMW i8 on fire in the Netherlands | Photo: Brandweer Midden- en West-Brabant

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Charles Jolicoeur
Charles Jolicoeur
Charles Jolicoeur was studying to be a CPA when he decided to drop everything and launch a car website in 2012. Don't ask. The journey has been an interesting one, but today he has co-founded and manages 8 websites including EcoloAuto.com and MotorIllustrated.com as General Manager of NetMedia360. He also sits on the board of the Automotive Journalists Association of Canada. Send me an email


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