Why People Are Unplugging Random Teslas

Tesla fire fears have reached an all-time high. The electric car and clean energy company has run into issues with some of its models catching on fire. Naturally, since Tesla is involved, these stories are widespread. As a result, many of the general public assume that Tesla vehicles are all fire hazards. This fear is bad for electric vehicles and incredibly awkward for Tesla owners.

People are unplugging Teslas that don’t belong to them

Electric vehicles charging station charger operated by the Jantarenergo company belonging to the PAO Rosseti.
Electric vehicles charging station | Michal Fludra/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Picture this: you park your EV in a free electric vehicle public charging station. Your community has made these stations available for consumers just like you as an incentive to purchase and use electric vehicles. You are actively reducing carbon emissions by owning your vehicle. You step away for a nice walk around the park because, let’s face it, EVs take long to charge.

After you return from your walk, you find your EV has been unplugged. Instead of refueling and replenishing your battery as you had intended, the charger has instead been disconnected from your vehicle by a stranger. Why? Because today the general public believes that electric vehicles are fire hazards.

A scenario like this is exactly what happened to Tesla Model 3 owner Oliver James when he left his car to charge in a residential parking lot. James returned to the parking lot to find that someone had unplugged his car and left a note on it. According to InsideEVs, the note revealed something unsettling about the general public’s perception of Tesla vehicles.

Teslaphobia is affecting Tesla owners

tesla gigafactory in shanghai
Tesla Gigafactory in Shanghai | Xinhua/Ding Ting via Getty Images

Teslaphobia is real. People are genuinely afraid of the company’s vehicles either crashing into things in Autopilot or bursting into flames while charging. After unplugging Oliver James’ Tesla Model 3, a person left a note on the car stating that overcharging the vehicle in hot weather will “blow up this battery”. The note was signed “concern resident”. Not concerned…”concern”.

This resident represents a growing problem with some of the misconceptions surrounding Tesla models. The chances of Oliver’s Tesla Model 3 battery exploding while charging were slim to none. As a matter of fact, there is a battery management system in place to avoid that outcome.

Tesla battery cells are also isolated when made to reduce the risk of causing a chain reaction if one battery cell were actually to somehow overheat. People are illogically afraid of Teslas, and that’s making ownership more difficult. Oliver was simply charging his car. There is no reason that a driver needs to be present during the lengthy electric vehicle battery charging process. Instead of getting his battery recharged, he got a taste of the Teslaphobia that is increasingly difficult to avoid as more fire headlines circulate.

Can your Tesla catch on fire?

2 crash white Tesla Model X.
2 crash Tesla Model X | YouTube

Is your Tesla vehicle actually likely to catch on fire? The short answer is no. Tesla vehicles aren’t statistically more likely to catch on fire than any gas-powered vehicle. Gas-powered vehicle fires are much more likely to burst into flames, they just don’t make as many headlines. A Tesla Autopilot crash or vehicle fire is prime-time news.

Tesla is very new to the automotive industry in comparison to its more seasoned rivals. As a result, it has been met with intense scrutiny at every turn. Tesla models will occasionally catch on fire, just like any other automobile. The difference is, a Tesla fire will always get more coverage. In the case of the Tesla Model 3, the concerned resident’s fears and actions were completely unwarranted.

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