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Old 10-05-2018, 18:09   #1
Enoch Powell
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Default Electric cars inherent fire risk

Sounds like they aren't part of the solution to the end of the age of oil.

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Tesla isn't alone in this risk, incidentally....it's common to all electrical vehicles.

The risk is fires immediately following a collision -- fires that cannot be put out.

A fuel-fed fire, such as one in a gasoline vehicle, can be mitigated in a number of ways. There isn't much fuel in the vehicle in other than the fuel tank itself, which is mounted and designed to make it very hard to rupture it. This became important after the Pinto fiasco, where the tank was mounted in a fashion that the differential could easily puncture it in a crash.

The fuel pump is designed to be disabled when a crash is detected (e.g. airbag deployment) or the engine is stopped, minimizing the risk of feeding fuel into the fire.

But with an electric car you have a battery in it which is the store of energy. Anything that shorts that battery internally or otherwise is an instant disaster, because electrical fires are nearly impossible to extinguish as long as the system is energized.

Unfortunately in a battery-powered car the battery is always, by definition, energized. If it is shorted internally by a crash then the resulting fire will burn until all the energy in the pack has been consumed; it is nearly impossible to put it out because the heat source (the short circuit) cannot be removed.

There's not much you can do about this because of the size of the pack that's required. As such protecting it from taking enough damage in a crash to violate its integrity is basically impossible.

This risk of fires is not unique to Tesla; it exists with any battery-powered vehicle and there is little or nothing you can realistically do about it, since a short in the pack itself will heat the surrounding cells sufficient to cause them to short. The energy density requirements make it essentially impossible to eliminate this risk. In a serious accident the occupants of the vehicle are frequently stunned, severely injured or the vehicle is sufficient damaged that they cannot immediately get out under their own power, and the amount of time available before a fire occurs in the event of a serious internal short-circuit may be just a few seconds.

There's no real fix for this, and a wreck that was almost-certainly survivable in Florida is just one example -- a Model X was also recently immolated as a result of essentially the same process.

In short all EVs are essentially Pintos in that if the battery pack integrity is damaged during a collision the risk of fire is quite high and there's little or nothing you can do about it in the vehicle's design -- unlike a gasoline or diesel-powered car.

https://market-ticker.org/akcs-www?post=233457
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Old 11-05-2018, 20:14   #2
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been down south this week, tons of them at charging points on m40, posh southern folk love the tesla

probably a tax write off
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Old 17-06-2018, 16:51   #3
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Quote:


A Tesla car driven by British TV director Michael Morris burst into flames in Los Angeles, his US actress wife has said.

Mary McCormack tweeted a dramatic video of the incident earlier this week.

"No accident, out of the blue, in traffic on Santa Monica Blvd. Thank you to the kind couple who flagged him down and told him to pull over," she wrote.

No-one was injured. Tesla said it was investigating "an extraordinarily unusual occurrence".

Tesla says its electric vehicles are less likely to catch fire than fuel-powered cars.
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-44511200
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