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    • CommentAuthortinker
    • CommentTimeOct 5th 2013
     
    Neither do I. But that (in effect) is what will happen.
    • CommentAuthorBigOilRep
    • CommentTimeOct 5th 2013 edited
     
    Posted By: AsterixWhat's the procedure for extinguishing a Tesla fire?

    You don't extinguish it, that would be wasteful. Instead you and your family can sit round it toasting marshmallows, singing camp songs and maybe telling a ghost story (if it is night, and your children aren't already sufficiently frightened by their car bursting into flames).
  1.  
    Doesn't that work far better with a Pinto?
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      CommentAuthorAngus
    • CommentTimeOct 5th 2013
     
    Posted By: Andrew PalfreymanWe are already there and nobody's going insane


    No we aren't and yes they are.
    • CommentAuthorjoshs
    • CommentTimeOct 6th 2013
     
    Posted By: BigOilRep
    Posted By: AsterixWhat's the procedure for extinguishing a Tesla fire?

    You don't extinguish it, that would be wasteful. Instead you and your family can sit round it toasting marshmallows, singing camp songs and maybe telling a ghost story (if it is night, and your children aren't already sufficiently frightened by their car bursting into flames).
    And don't forget to wear rebreathers. That is unless you like the liquidation of your lungs by hydrogen fluoride gas. It smells like ... lungs turned to goo.
    • CommentAuthorjoshs
    • CommentTimeOct 6th 2013
     
    Posted By: Andrew PalfreymanDoesn't that work far better with a Pinto?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dT0J0rcJTLo
  2.  
    In Canada, IIRC, every little machine shop and laboratory and factory that I saw had a prominently posted white and red box outside the building that had emergency instructions for firefighters inside it.

    People with chronic lifethreatening illnesses often wear little bracelets that inform urgent care personnel of the nature of the problem.

    Dogs have chips in them that tell interested parties a lot of information about the dog.

    An electronic automobile might be expected to have similar capability, since its separate components are likely already talking to one another via bluetooth, etc. Even the tire valve stems now report stuff to roadside readers and the car's ELINT system, along with the NSA.

    Now if we can just find the keys....
  3.  
    October 4, 2013
    About the Model S fire
    By Elon Musk, Chairman, Product Architect & CEO
    Earlier this week, a Model S traveling at highway speed struck a large metal object, causing significant damage to the vehicle. A curved section that fell off a semi-trailer was recovered from the roadway near where the accident occurred and, according to the road crew that was on the scene, appears to be the culprit. The geometry of the object caused a powerful lever action as it went under the car, punching upward and impaling the Model S with a peak force on the order of 25 tons. Only a force of this magnitude would be strong enough to punch a 3 inch diameter hole through the quarter inch armor plate protecting the base of the vehicle.

    The Model S owner was nonetheless able to exit the highway as instructed by the onboard alert system, bring the car to a stop and depart the vehicle without injury. A fire caused by the impact began in the front battery module – the battery pack has a total of 16 modules – but was contained to the front section of the car by internal firewalls within the pack. Vents built into the battery pack directed the flames down towards the road and away from the vehicle.

    When the fire department arrived, they observed standard procedure, which was to gain access to the source of the fire by puncturing holes in the top of the battery's protective metal plate and applying water. For the Model S lithium-ion battery, it was correct to apply water (vs. dry chemical extinguisher), but not to puncture the metal firewall, as the newly created holes allowed the flames to then vent upwards into the front trunk section of the Model S. Nonetheless, a combination of water followed by dry chemical extinguisher quickly brought the fire to an end.

    It is important to note that the fire in the battery was contained to a small section near the front by the internal firewalls built into the pack structure. At no point did fire enter the passenger compartment.

    Had a conventional gasoline car encountered the same object on the highway, the result could have been far worse. A typical gasoline car only has a thin metal sheet protecting the underbody, leaving it vulnerable to destruction of the fuel supply lines or fuel tank, which causes a pool of gasoline to form and often burn the entire car to the ground. In contrast, the combustion energy of our battery pack is only about 10% of the energy contained in a gasoline tank and is divided into 16 modules with firewalls in between. As a consequence, the effective combustion potential is only about 1% that of the fuel in a comparable gasoline sedan.

    The nationwide driving statistics make this very clear: there are 150,000 car fires per year according to the National Fire Protection Association, and Americans drive about 3 trillion miles per year according to the Department of Transportation. That equates to 1 vehicle fire for every 20 million miles driven, compared to 1 fire in over 100 million miles for Tesla. This means you are 5 times more likely to experience a fire in a conventional gasoline car than a Tesla!

    For consumers concerned about fire risk, there should be absolutely zero doubt that it is safer to power a car with a battery than a large tank of highly flammable liquid.

    — Elon
  4.  
    continued

    Below is our email correspondence with the Model S owner that experienced the fire, reprinted with his permission:

    From: robert Carlson
    Sent: Thursday, October 03, 2013 12:53 PM
    To: Jerome Guillen
    Subject: carlson 0389

    Mr. Guillen,

    Thanks for the support. I completely agree with the assessment to date. I guess you can test for everything, but some other celestial bullet comes along and challenges your design. I agree that the car performed very well under such an extreme test. The batteries went through a controlled burn which the internet images really exaggerates. Anyway, I am still a big fan of your car and look forward to getting back into one. Justin offered a white loaner--thanks. I am also an investor and have to say that the response I am observing is really supportive of the future for electric vehicles. I was thinking this was bound to happen, just not to me. But now it is out there and probably gets a sigh of relief as a test and risk issue-this "doomsday" event has now been tested, and the design and engineering works.

    rob carlson
    On Oct 3, 2013, at 12:29 PM, Jerome Guillen wrote:

    Dear Mr. Carlson:

    I am the VP of sales and service for Tesla, reporting directly to Elon Musk, Tesla's CEO.

    I am sorry to hear that you experienced a collision in your Model S 2 days ago. We are happy that the Model S performed in such a way that you were not injured in the accident and that nobody else was hurt.

    I believe you have been in contact with Justin Samson, our service manager, since the accident. We are following this case extremely closely and we have sent a team of experts to review your vehicle. All indications are that your Model S drove over large, oddly-shaped metal object which impacted the leading edge of the vehicle's undercarriage and rotated into the underside of the vehicle ("pole vault" effect). This is a highly uncommon occurrence.

    Based on our review thus far, we believe that the Model S performed as designed by limiting the resulting fire to the affected zones only. Given the significant intensity of the impact, which managed to pierce the 1/4 inch bottom plate (something that is extremely hard to do), the Model S energy containment functions operated correctly. In particular, the top cover of the battery provided a strong barrier and there was no apparent propagation of the fire into the cabin. This ensured cabin integrity and occupant safety, which remains our most important goal.

    We very much appreciate your support, patience and understanding while we proceed with the investigation. Justin keeps me closely informed. Please feel free to contact me directly, if you have any question or concern.

    Best regards,
    Jerome Guillen I VP, WW sales and service
    •  
      CommentAuthormaryyugo
    • CommentTimeOct 6th 2013 edited
     
    Looks as if the safety engineering of the Tesla is purty goot. One worry with Volts and Priuses (Prii?) is that you have both the risks of the lithium battery and associated high voltage wiring *and* the gasoline fuel for the auxiliary ICE. Also, I doubt that they are as well designed for safety as the Tesla though the Prius might be.
    •  
      CommentAuthorAngus
    • CommentTimeOct 6th 2013
     
    The Prius is well known to be dangerous after a collision because of the high voltage supply, and the manuals warn of this. The Tesla operates at 375 volts, just like the Prius. I don't see any a-priori reason why it would be safer.

    Other than that, storing large amounts of energy in a small box is always dangerous. It doesn't seem likely that electric cars are intrinsically more dangerous than gasoline fuelled cars because of that issue.
    • CommentAuthortinker
    • CommentTimeOct 6th 2013 edited
     
    I think diesels brew up best of all. Seen a few (trucks and cars) over the years. They start off slow, but once they get going are pretty spectacular. And smoky.
    • CommentAuthortinker
    • CommentTimeOct 6th 2013
     
    From Linkedin...

    ... Recently I had few fires in luxury and middle class cars produced by Mercedes. The problem appears to be the Diesel Particulate Filter in diesel engine equipped cars from that maker. Obviously, during the normal use of the car, without any sign for technical problem, the particulate filter is getting enormously hot. The temperature is higher enough to initiate burning process in near by insulation materials.

    In my practice a have “E” and “S” class diesel engine cars fires. Do any of you have similar incidents in his/her practice. I just want to know if this is something local for Bulgaria, or there is the same problem in different countries.
    •  
      CommentAuthoroak
    • CommentTimeNov 7th 2013
     
    "For the third time in six weeks, an electric vehicle from Tesla Motors Inc. (TSLA) caught fire on Wednesday. This incident occurred in Nashville, and Tesla said that it has contacted the driver and he reported being unhurt. The company said it is sending a team to investigate. . . . "

    -----------------
    http://finance.yahoo.com/news/third-fire-tesla-electric-car-180648417.html
    •  
      CommentAuthormaryyugo
    • CommentTimeNov 7th 2013 edited
     
    Posted By: oakan electric vehicle from Tesla Motors Inc. (TSLA) caught fire on Wednesday


    Unfortunate. Saw one of these (the sedan) on the highway recently. It looks like it was imported from the future. If you can overlook all the infelicities, it'a a spectacular achievement.
  5.  
    • CommentAuthorjoshs
    • CommentTimeNov 24th 2013
     
    That's what I call advo-blather. Real experiences can be found around the net, such as the two women last winter who wanted to take their Tesla S from Iowa to Minnesota. Their planned 16 hour trip turned into more than 60 hours because of severe problems with the batteries and the charging logistics in cold weather. The funniest / saddest part was where a 110 VAC based charge actually drained the batteries because the battery heater was drawing more than the 1500W the outlet could provide.
  6.  
    Wowo. Good to know. Tesla has the very best PR it seems
    • CommentAuthorLakes
    • CommentTimeNov 24th 2013
     
    Posted By: Andrew PalfreymanTesla in winter
    Pop Out door handles! :D
    •  
      CommentAuthorAngus
    • CommentTimeNov 24th 2013
     
    Now I'm suspicious. The only place where somebody is going to own six Teslas living above the arctic circle is Scandinavia, which is decently cold but not usually ridiculously so, like some other places I could name. It might be nice to let your car (and battery) warm up to 23 or so while you have a leisurely shower and breakfast, but what happens when it's -40 outside and you hear her husband coming home?


    No - I want to see drag races on a January midnight in Saskatoon.