Despite the concerns, lithium-ion battery use continues to grow due to its superior makeup and power. Boeing officials say the batteries used in the Dreamliner--nearly double the size of a car battery--help burn less fuel and have been extensively tested. "We've got 1.3 million operating hours on these battery cells in flight with no issues," Mike Sinnett, Boeing's chief engineer for the 787, told Reuters.
Electric vehicles (EVs) have also taken advantage of lithium-ion technology and were also under scrutiny last year after a series of crash tests on the Chevy Volt resulted in fires. As reported in NFPA Journal, the NTSB's two-month investigation into the incidents concluded that the Volt and other EVs "do not pose a greater risk of fire than gasoline-powered vehicles."
Read Journal's excerpt of the "Chevrolet Volt Battery Overview Report" produced by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. For more information on how NFPA is analyzing storage and safety issues surrounding today's power source of choice, read the feature in NFPA Journal.