You'll have to take it up with Tesla, Rigby5. If you noticed, their statement said, "...the fire in the battery pack was contained to a small section in the front of the vehicle." They also acknowledged this in a phone copnversation. Also, if you read Elon Musk's blog, he said, "A fire caused by the impact began in the front battery module..." Those statements are good enough for me. I do agree with you, however, about gasoline engine fires. A gasoline tank has far more energy than a lithium-ion battery.
As you probably saw, William K, Elon Musk offered his viewpoint on the fire on the Tesla website. Tomorrow, Design News will have an article in which four experts offer their opinions, based on the information in Musk's blog (which, right now is the only information available).
I would like to comment that when I saw the video it certainly looked like a serious fire indded. I have seen a few fires and in all cases, before the flames got that high, the passenger compartment was on fire as well. And I understand that in this case the passenger compartment did not burn. That says a great deal for the integrity of the body and the safety of the passenger compartment.
As for hitting some object, an ordinary push-broom can have the handel go through the grill and radiator and bash into a number of things inside and start a serious fire, and not leave any visible damage, hardly. So we will need to wait for the report from all of those qualified investigators instead of listening to the conjecture of those not qualified to change a flat tire or even pump gas.
Just because somebody is a persuasive writer does not mean that they have any understanding or any knowledge at all about their subject, and this has been made very clear in the many press releases and postings on this unfortunate event.
Saw the promo letter Elon sent out. Denting a thick piece of steel had to come from something in the road. Let's face it, looking at the big ppicture, if that road debris punctured a gas tank or gas line, the guy might have fried before he even got off the road.
First- It was speculated by the driver .. there MAY have been an impact with something on the road before the car became disabled and the fire started (it is NOT known an "impact caused a Tesla battery fire").
Second- It MAY be a battery fire (?) .... it isn't known yet.
Third - I am sure this car's remains will be reviewed by many teams of qualified people with much more information than presented here. Everyone will want to determine the cause of this fire.
Nothing ... other than the questionable action of the fire fighters is known at this time....(water with Lithium? reallly? water use for most oil/petroleum product fires is questionable). Watering down a burning car.. only useful in keeping surrounding area from catching fire or keeping the vapors in a gas tank from exploding- which doesn't appear be a risk in the video.
I want to see a $10,000 two seater EV with a 40 mile range. That addresses the needs of about 80% of the population and I think they would sell like hotcakes.
How do you get a 2 seater addressing 80% of the population. That excludes all families with a kid, grandparents who would like to take grandchildren anywere and any body who would like to go anywere with more than one other person. Their is a reason why their are very few 2 seater cars made almost no one wants one unless your going through a mid-life crisis.
This kind of vechile would only work as an optional vechile for most people so now we need a standard ICE and your 2 seater that will save a lot of money,
The batteries are made from highly reactive material that are prone to thermal runaway issues. unlike a fuel tank which needs puctured and then an ignition source all you need to make the battery compartment flame is a good strong dent in the pack.
the scariest part about this, you can get a dent that causes a slow discharge that over the coarse of an hour or 2 goes thermal. So you could damage your battery compartment and then not have it go into runaway until after you park it in your garage.
"Yes, let's maintain perspective." Cars are too expensive as it is. Physics and economics cannot be ignored. In order of priority, where do you place safety, weight, fuel efficiency, cost, and usefulness?
If safety is your primary goal, above all else, we should all drive Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles (MRAPs). 3 miles to the gallon at a cost of $500,000 each. If you can't afford that - Stay home! That's the safest place you can be.
This talk about adding weight and cost to a ALL vehicles because ONE car started on fire is ridiculous. I want to see a $10,000 two seater EV with a 40 mile range. That addresses the needs of about 80% of the population and I think they would sell like hotcakes.
...An no, I don't drive a $1500 EV scooter because I don't think they are safe and wouldn't stand a chance against an 8000 pound Escalade.
Critic, your moniker suggests you are more prone to criticism than thoughtful evaluation. My neighborhood has a hot rod gathering nearly every weekend in the summer with hundreds of cars, many of which put fuel tanks in all sorts of potentially dangerous and completely untested places. And surely you've noticed those big fuel tanks completely exposed on both sides of virtually every high tonnage truck on the road? Not to mention the tankers being pulled by them!
Every new car from Detroit ends up on the road after passing the tests, and the new Tesla passed the same ones. Like those other new cars, additional data supplied by accident statistics is going point out the issues and extent of danger, not the assumptions on both sides of the issue I see here.
Statistically speaking, this single incident is a risk which at this point, only applies to the potential purchasers of Tesla's. Combined with the five star safety rating, it seems totally exceptable to me, if only I could afford a Tesla, and it's limitations.
It seems engineers are as apt to jump to conclusions and hold them as hard as the technically less endowed. Engineers with imagination are wonderful, but even the most innovative of those, without any analytics, will suffer.
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