When the Austin Fire Department arrived at the scene of a car fire in Tarrytown, Texas, it was completely engulfed in flames. Some said it looked like an inferno. The Tesla Model X is completely unrecognizable as even being a car. It was absolutely cooked.
Electric vehicles like Tesla sometimes need 30-40 times the water needed for a gas-engine fire
There is no record of how long it took for fire crews to cool down the batteries and finally put out the flames. Electric vehicles are notorious for needing lots of water to do both. Some fire departments say it takes 30-40 times the amount of water a gas-powered engine fire would require.
But even when the fire is out in an EV, it can still reignite. So hours of observation are necessary. EVs can reignite the day after being towed to a storage facility after a fire.
The Tesla driver escaped any injury
A Fire Department statement says that the driver was able to escape the inferno without any injuries. The Tesla lost control and plowed into a traffic pole. As the pole was coming to rest in the middle of the street, the Tesla continued running.
It then slammed into a gas pump which heaped gasoline onto the already ignited flames. This only added to the intensity of the fire. Once the flames had subsided you could see that the Tesla had almost evaporated from the heat, gasoline, and flames.
So, while it is largely assumed that there were issues with Tesla’s batteries in this much-publicized incident, it was not the case. While we’re not here to defend Tesla, it changes the picture once you know a little more about how this happened. And, there is still more to this.
The driver was both underage and “intoxicated”
According to the Austin FD, the driver was underage. A “foreign substance likely contributed to the crash” according to the Fire Department. It would not specify the substance involved, But the driver was arrested for Driving Under the Influence. The accident was alcohol-related according to CBS News.
While electric car fires tend to get the most notoriety, in 2020 Tesla vehicles were involved in a fire every 205-million miles. In all, total yearly fires happen every 19 million miles.