Tesla Model S Bursts Into Flames in California, Requires 6,000 Gallons of Water to Extinguish

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Image: Metro Fire of Sacramento

Firefighters with Metro Fire of Sacramento had their work cut out for them over the weekend when they were called in to deal with a Tesla Model S that burst into flames on a California highway. According to a tweet that the seventh largest fire agency in the state shared on Saturday, two fire trucks, a water tender, and a ladder truck were called in to tame the fiery Tesla, which ultimately took 6,000 gallons of water to extinguish due to the nature of lithium ion batteries. In contrast, a non-electric car with a traditional combustion engine can be put out with about 700 gallons of water, although research from last year would suggest that hybrids and ICE vehicle are much more likely to catch on fire than EVs.

From a CNBC report:

The good news is battery electric vehicle fires don’t happen often.

AutoinsuranceEZ, says battery electric vehicles have just a .03% chance of igniting, compared to internal combustion engine vehicle’s 1.5% chance. Hybrid electrics, which have both a high voltage battery and an internal combustion engine, have a 3.4% likelihood of vehicle fires according to their study.

However, when fires do occur, electric vehicles with lithium ion batteries burn hotter, faster and require far more water to reach final extinguishment, Sutcliffe says. And the batteries can re-ignite hours or even days after the fire is initially controlled, leaving salvage yards, repair shops and others at risk.

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Tsing Mui
News poster at The FPS Review.

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