Electric Vehicle Safety In Spotlight On Heels Of Tesla Model S Fire

Posted on October 4, 2013

A couple days ago, a Tesla Model S was involved in an accident in Kent, Washington, when it struck debris along a highway.  When that happened, the vehicle reportedly caught fire, prompting renewed worries about the tendency among electric vehicles to be set ablaze when they get into wrecks.

The automaker acknowledged that the reason the fire took place in this particular incident had to do with the fact that a battery cell was damaged.  They also noted the vehicle’s ability to keep the fire contained to that given area.

The prevailing consensus among proponents of electric automobiles is that the vehicles are safer than automobiles that require gasoline to run and that these incidents are exceedingly rare.  Still, a report notes that automakers must do a better job protecting the batteries.

Firefighters, who may not know the proper way to handle such a blaze, should also be privy to additional intensive training focused on responding to these fires.  A member of the Kent Fire Department explained that this particular incident led them to figure out the need for getting to the battery pack and the advisability of using a dry chemical extinguisher.

A representative for Kelley Blue Book noted that the infancy of electric vehicles in general means that additional research will need to be carried out in order to analyze and overcome any potential safety issues inherent with the automobiles.

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