Tesla CEO Elon Musk has issued out a statement regarding this week’s viral video of the Tesla Model S fire, stating that “it is safer to power a car with a battery than a large tank of highly flammable liquid.”
Earlier this week, a video surfaced of a Tesla Model S on fire and more details on what caused the fire has surfaced. Musk shared that the Model S was traveling at highway speeds when it struck a large metal object, which caused significant damage to the vehicle. According to the road crew at the scene, a curved section that fell off a semi-trailer was recovered and appears to be the cause of the accident.
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It appears that the metallic object went underneath the Model S before punching upward and impaling the electric sedan with “a peak force on the order of 25 tons,” according to Musk. A three-inch diameter hole was punched through the quarter-inch armor plate protecting the base of the Model S. As a result of the accident, the vehicle warned the driver to pull over and depart the vehicle. The driver was safely able to do so and was unharmed before the vehicle ignited.
According to the statement, a fire caused by the impact began in the front battery module and was contained in the front section of the car by internal firewalls within the pack. The fire never managed to enter the passenger compartment of the vehicle.
Of course Musk had no problems comparing the accident to what would have happened in a standard gasoline vehicle, stating that the results “could have been far worse,” if there was a gasoline engine under the hood. And then there’s the random, almost silly, statistic that one vehicle fire occurs for every 20-million miles driven in a standard gasoline-powered car, as opposed to the Tesla, which has had its first occurrence in over 100-million miles. According to those stats you’re five times more likely to experience a fire in a conventional gasoline car than a Tesla.
Regardless, Tesla also posted up the email conversation between the owner of the vehicle and the American automaker. The owner, named Robert Carlson, still believes in the product and looks forward to getting back into a new one.
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