Tesla is sending an investigative team to a Shanghai parking garage to see if it can determine what caused a Model S electric vehicle to explode into flames over the weekend. News of the car’s spontaneous combustion spread on social media, complete with CCTV footage from the parking garage. Wisps of smoke began to emerge from underneath the Model S, which then exploded into flame.
Good or bad, negative or positive I will post anything about Tesla or EVs in China. This happened today in Shanghai, China ?? 1st generation Tesla Model S caught Fire ? underground car park.#Tesla#TeslaChina#ModelS#Fire#China#Shanghai#特斯拉#中国$TSLApic.twitter.com/HOwMcvulV1
— Jay in Shanghai (@ShanghaiJayin) April 21, 2019
According to the local fire department’s Weibo account, two other cars were also damaged by the fire. Tesla also used Weibo to make a statement acknowledging the fire and its participation in the investigation.
“After learning about the accident that occurred in Shanghai, we sent the team to the scene last night,” Tesla wrote (according to a Google translation). “We are actively contacting relevant departments and supporting the verification. According to current information, there are no casualties.”
Electric vehicles should in theory be no less safe than gasoline powered vehicles, which often drive around carrying gallons of highly flammable liquid hydrocarbons on board. (Indeed, I’ve seen more than one parked car on fire in Washington, DC over the past few years, none of which were electric cars.)
While EV fires are rare, when batteries do ignite, the fire can be difficult to extinguish and the battery can often reignite in the following hours or days. That happened to the Rimac hypercar that ‘s Richard Hammond crashed, and it was also the case with a damaged Tesla in Pittsburgh earlier this month.