An electric car’s high-voltage lithium-ion battery pack has been determined as the cause of a fire which destroyed five cars at a Sydney Airport carpark late on September 11.

Fire and Rescue New South Wales (FRNSW) firefighters were called to the carpark on Airport Drive, Mascot at around 8:30PM, where flames had engulfed the electric vehicle (EV) and spread to four other vehicles.

Video shows the electric vehicle was an MG ZS EV. Its battery pack had recently been detached and stored in the carpark, according to FRNSW.

It’s unclear how long the car had been in the carpark, nor why the battery was removed from the EV prior to the fire.

“We have become aware of an incident that took place with a damaged EV battery pack at a Sydney holding yard on Tuesday 12th of August 2023,” said an MG Motor Australia spokesperson.

“This is unfortunate and as far as we’re aware, is an isolated incident. We are working closely with the Fire and Rescue NSW (FRNSW) investigators to piece together circumstances surrounding the unusual incident.

“MG Motor Australia takes all safety concerns very seriously. Our customer’s safety in our vehicles continues to be of paramount importance and it remains our objective to have all vehicles subject to any damage or issues rectified as soon as possible.

“We can confirm that no members of the public were involved or injured during the incident and similarly, no infrastructure was damaged as a result of the incident.

“MG understands the customer’s vehicle and battery were already damaged and the battery was not in the vehicle. We understand the vehicle was being stored at an airport holding yard and also not in a driveable condition.”

FRNSW and Aviation Rescue Firefighting Service confirmed they were able to extinguish the fire.

Experts from FRNSW’s Fire Investigation and Research Unit (FIRU) attended the scene and say they are continuing to piece together circumstances surrounding the incident.

Research officers from FRNSW’s Safety of Alternative and Renewable Energy Technologies (SARET) team have also inspected the aftermath.

“EV batteries are very different to the system in smaller devices, like e-scooters or e-bikes,” FRNSW superintendent Adam Dewberry told ABC News.

“We don’t see too many e-vehicle battery fires. They meet a much higher standard and regulation.

“I don’t know the brand of the vehicle, but I’m pretty sure the manufacturers will have an interest in this.”

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Jack Quick

Jack Quick is an automotive journalist based in Melbourne. Jack studied journalism and photography at Deakin University in Burwood, and previously represented the university in dance nationally. In his spare time, he loves to pump Charli XCX and play a bit of Grand Theft Auto. He’s also the proud owner of a blue, manual 2020 Suzuki Jimny.

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