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Anti-EV critics are quick to drop terminology like “thermal runaway” to make their points. It’s a tired complaint today. However, every once in a while an eye-opening example reminds us that EVs, not unlike ICE cars, still pose a fire risk. Such is the case of an underwater Tesla fire following a boat launch incident. 

In a boat launch gone wrong, a Tesla fire rages in the water

You’ve likely seen videos of torquey electric cars towing trailers. It’s no strange thing; Tesla will sell you a towing package for a Model Y. However, towing is a tricky task for most drivers. Boat launches, that much more so. 

For those who don’t know, launching a boat from a trailer requires backing it up into the water. Once the boat achieves buoyancy, the operator can guide the vessel. It’s a scary practice for inexperienced boaters, as a mistake could result in a water-damaged tow vehicle.

A Tesla Model Y, like the Tesla that lit on fire in a lake, cruises an open road.
Model Y | Tesla

 For one Tesla driver, a mishap at a boat launch resulted in their Tesla taking “submarine mode” a bit too seriously. Check out the video below to see the smoldering Tesla EV burn underwater. 

Tragically, the submerging incident resulted in a Tesla fire. However, it’s not the spontaneous blazes you’ve heard mentioned in counter-EV arguments. No, this was a Tesla on fire while submerged in the water. 

It’s an eye-opening event. Doctrine for many fire departments involves attacking an EV fire with mass quantities of water. Really, just overcome the fire’s thermal units (BTUs) with a wall of water. However, thermal runaway cases may require continued fire suppression to extinguish the battery pack. Still, it’s not every day that you see a Tesla fire, or any other sort of fire, that is, continue to burn in a body of water.