Electric Vehicles tesla-fire

Published on October 7th, 2013 | by Christopher DeMorro

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Owner Of Burned Tesla Model S Will Buy Another

tesla-fireLast week the car-blogging world was all aflutter over news that a Tesla Model S caught fire after it collided with a still-unspecified piece of road debris that punched a 3-inch hole in the electric car’s battery. The owner of the crispy Tesla has come forward to say that he was impressed enough with the car’s performance under fire to buy another one.

Rob Carlson’s Tesla Model S became the center of attention after it struck a large piece of metal debris in a HOV lane in Seattle last Tuesday. The car initially lost power, and then told Carlson to pull his car over. Carlson was able to exit the Tesla without issue, as the armor-plated battery contained the blaze to one of the 16 battery modules, giving the owner plenty of time to escape the electric blaze.

In an email to Tesla’s vice president of sales and service Jerome Gilligan, Carlson said that he is “still a big fan of your car and look forward to getting back into one.” Carlson is also a Tesla investor, and he seems plenty happy with the performance of his electric car, unlike investors and owners of the Fisker Karma, which saw its stock go up in smoke when unexplained fires shook consumer confidence.

That’s not to say Tesla’s stock hasn’t taken a hit, though it seems to have recovered nicely today, and the 24 hour news cycle seems to have already moved on. With Tesla’s government loans paid in full, and the old right-wing talking point bashing electric cars seems to be losing it’s pull with the populace.

People really seem to be “warming up” to the Tesla Model S, and I swear that’s my last fire pun for this post.

Source: Green Car Reports


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About the Author

Chris DeMorro is a writer and gearhead who loves all things automotive, from hybrids to HEMIs. When he isn't wrenching or writing, he's running, because he's one of those crazy people who gets enjoyment from running insane distances.



  • Jason Carpp

    I’m just glad he wasn’t hurt in the fire. Tesla needs to do a better job at protecting the battery from anything that might fly against it.

    • tomsax

      On average there’s a gas car fire in the US every 90 seconds, and they usually don’t give the driver to a warning in advance or remain contained to 1/16 of the gas tank. Electric cars are already far safer than gas cars.

      • Jason Carpp

        I’ve never owned or driven a Tesla. I’ll have to check it out.

  • http://www.kipling.org.uk/poems_macdonough.htm bobw

    I’m glad he wasn’t hurt.
    I don’t think anyone is against electric cars so much as they are against government mandates and subsidies for them. It kinda hurts when electric cars are more expensive than comparable gasoline cars and their buyers make more than the median U.S. income. I don’t begrudge the wealthy their toys; wealthy people are guinea pigs for technology that isn’t quite ready for prime time. I just don’t want to pay for them.
    I think the Tesla Model S would sell without the subsidy.

    • tomsax

      I think we should remove the subsidy of electric cars at the same time we remove the subsidies for gas cars. Taxpayers fund the oil industry, through tax breaks and direct military costs in protecting foreign oil fields and transport routes, to the tune of over $2 per gallon of gas sold in the US. That adds up to over $12,000 in taxpayer subsidies over the lifespan of the average gas car. That’s more than electric cars are getting, and it’s not even counting the cost of the wars we’ve fought over oil.

      • http://www.insteading.com/ Jo Borras

        I agree fully – don’t forget the additional benefits gas and oil companies get when they benefit from eminent domain acquisitions. Let’s cut the subsidies, cut the military investment in/protecting oil, and let the market decide what they want to buy.

      • http://www.kipling.org.uk/poems_macdonough.htm bobw

        Everybody talks about the “subsidies” that the oil companies get. I am not a tax lawyer, but as I understand it the oil companies don’t get any special breaks. Depletion allowances and such are normal for any mineral resource extraction, whether it’s petroleum or lithium. It’s analogous to depreciation of capital equipment.

        The middle east adventures have been expensive and badly managed. Do remember that the punitive expedition is the classic response to barbarian raids.

        I want Tesla Motors to do well. I have a few shares of stock, though as usual I am late to the party.

        • tomsax

          The US spends $80 billion per year on direct military costs protecting foreign oil fields and transport routes.

          • http://www.kipling.org.uk/poems_macdonough.htm bobw

            We’ve always protected trade routes. We went to war with Great Britain in 1812 over that.

          • http://www.insteading.com/ Jo Borras

            Trade routes are a vastly different topic – I almost took these as serious posts, instead of crazy trollspeak! Shame on me, I guess.

          • Guest

            How is a trade route for oil different than a trade route for any other goods?

          • http://www.insteading.com/ Jo Borras

            If the production of Nikes is interrupted, the country where they’re being produced doesn’t get invaded.

          • http://www.kipling.org.uk/poems_macdonough.htm bobw

            Pot, meet Kettle.

          • http://www.insteading.com/ Jo Borras

            And that doesn’t count empire maintenance, ongoing regional actions, Israeli aid, etc.

        • http://www.insteading.com/ Jo Borras

          Give an equivalent allowance to solar or ethanol, and I might shut up. Until then? It’s not only a subsidy, but – with the introduction of E15 – there is now an 85% gasoline mandate!

    • http://www.insteading.com/ Jo Borras

      You’e 100% wrong – there aren’t really comparable EVs/gas engines, except in the case of maybe the Chevy Spark. In that case, the purchase price is higher, but the lease, cost of operations (net cost, in other words) is significantly lower. If you compare a Tesla Roadster to a Lotus Evora, for example, as opposed to a Camry, you’d see a similar scenario.

      That said, the people who argue against gov’t mandates and subsidies for electric cars or alternative fuels, in general, seem to turn a blind eye to those same mandates and subsidies to petroleum.

      Further, MOST new-car buyers make more than the median income – and many new cars cost more than the median income, so that whole line of … would you call it “reasoning”? I wouldn’t. Anyway, that whole line of “reezunin’” is moot.

      • http://www.kipling.org.uk/poems_macdonough.htm bobw

        The Nissan Leaf seems very similar to the Versa. The Ford Focus EV is built on the same platform as the IC Focus. So is the Toyota Rav4 EV.

        • http://www.insteading.com/ Jo Borras

          The Leaf is very different from the Versa – almost no interchangeable parts, even cosmetically. You are correct about the Focus, but the Rav4 is built by Tesla, adding a whole layer of costs not associated with the IC car. Still, huzzah for pointing out the Focus!

  • Pingback: Tesla and Samsung reportedly near battery supply agreement for Model X – Torque News | MyNews

  • Earl Morgan

    A car that calmly announces that you must leave the vehicles before it’s power cells explode is still remarkable. I wonder if there was a countdown?

  • patrick

    “Owner Of Burned Turn Model S Will Buy Another”
    Is “Turn” an autocorrect error?

    • http://www.insteading.com/ Jo Borras

      Ugh. Yes.

  • tomsax

    In “seems to be losing it’s pull” there shouldn’t be an apostrophe in “its.”

  • Mark Benjamin David

    “Crispy” ? only the front burned and was quickly and easily put out. …Way to go with the media’s negative flow. Ugh.

    What I want is for the media to report on every single other car fire there was that day and gives us the details, you will find that the Tesla was the safest, had less damage from the fire (aside from the wreck itself) and it will happen far less often. ICE cars carry around a highly volatile flammable liquid, that, if there’s a leak as a result of an accident, can be very difficult to control or put out, usually the car ends up burnt to a crisp, or even explodes, causing further damage, far beyond the wreck itself. THAT would be a crispy car.

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