BY Jim Baker, The Western JournalJune 28, 2023
1 year ago
 | June 28, 2023
1 year ago

Researcher Dead After Experimental Hybrid Electric Car Explodes While Driving

In a tragic incident in Naples, Italy, a fatal explosion occurred involving an experimental hybrid electric car.

The vehicle was a Volkswagen Polo, a prototype used as part of a project called "Life-Save," testing the possibility of combining an electric motor with batteries powered by solar panels in cars, a translated version of the Today Chronicle reported.

According to a report from Newsweek, the tragic accident claimed the life of researcher Maria Vittoria Prati and left trainee student Fulvio Filace with severe burns.

Both individuals were associated with the Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche research institute and were traveling on the Naples ring road when the explosion took place.

Following the blast, the victims were rushed to the Antonio Cardarelli Hospital in critical condition.

Tragically, Maria Vittoria Prati succumbed to her injuries -- burns that covered 90 percent of her body -- on Monday.

The car involved in this incident was part of an ongoing research project on engine hybridization, undertaken by the Motor Institute of the CNR in collaboration with the University of Salerno.

Some have theorized that the explosion was due to some type of flammable material contained in the cylinders igniting; however, that has not been confirmed at this time.

Although the exact cause of the explosion has yet to be determined, hybrid and fully electric vehicles have faced safety concerns in the past, including instances of fires and explosions.

Such incidents have been observed with electric and hybrid cars, including certain Tesla models.

The incidents are becoming so common that some shipping companies are refusing to transport electric vehicles.

The dangers associated with EVs have also led to some governments taking actions to protect the public. It was reported last year that a state-owned public transport operator in Paris, France, the Régie Autonome des Transports Parisiens, pulled out 149 electric buses from its fleet after two of them spontaneously exploded within the same month.

The Public Prosecutor of Naples has initiated an investigation to shed light on the circumstances surrounding Friday's explosion, Newsweek reported.

Meanwhile, Fabio Corsaro, cousin of Filace, expressed gratitude for the support provided by the medical team and questioned the decision to expose a trainee about to graduate in mechanical engineering to potential risks.

"I believe it is essential that it be clarified why a trainee close to graduation had been designated for that position to transport evidently dangerous material together with a researcher. What is the added value for an internship offered by such an activity remains a mystery," he said.

Corsaro emphasized the need for a comprehensive understanding of the incident and its implications, as it remains a tragic event that has disrupted the dreams and aspirations of a young individual.

While disasters like these are disheartening, they serve as reminders of the challenges that come with new technology and innovation.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

Written by: Jim Baker, The Western Journal



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