Notebookcheck Logo

Tesla busts the myth of common electric car fires

Sacramento firefighter putting out a Tesla (image: SFD)
Sacramento firefighter putting out a Tesla (image: SFD)
Self-combusting batteries on Teslas and other electric cars are very hard to put out with regular firefighting methods and demand much longer dousing with water than usual. These are not common incidents, though.

In its newest environmental Impact Report, Tesla debunks the persistent myth that electric vehicles are catching on fire left and right that many ICE car proponents use in comments and arguments.

It turns out that for every billion miles driven in the US, vehicles catch on fire nearly 60 times, mainly on account of gas-powered cars as EVs have much smaller market share.

For comparison, Tesla says that only 7 of its cars catch fire for a billion miles driven, or nearly 9 times less than the US average.

This is similar to its Autopilot safety ranking released at the same time that pegged the system 10x safer than the average US driver.

Granted, electric car fires, while rarer, are much harder to put out due to the battery chemistries that often result in a self-combusting phenomenon.

Tesla itself admits that it takes up to 8,000 gallons of water to extinguish battery flames and that the spraying has to be as close to the battery cells as possible.

"It can take between approximately 3,000-8,000 gallons (11,356-30,283 liters) of water, applied directly to the battery, to fully extinguish and cool down a battery fire; always establish or request additional water supply early," informs Tesla.

Fire departments across the country are learning how to deal with electric car fires better, though, having dedicated workshops and tools.

These include inventions like that of Rosenbauer which consists of a set of high-pressure nozzles that pierce the battery unit housing from below.

They allow firefighters to douse the cells directly, and are the best way to extinguish a burning electric car this side of completely submerging it in water.

Get the 80A Tesla Gen 2 Wall Connector with 24' cable on Amazon

Tesla dispells the myth that EV fires are a common occurrence
Tesla dispells the myth that EV fires are a common occurrence


Read all 1 comments / answer
static version load dynamic
Loading Comments
Comment on this article
Please share our article, every link counts!
Daniel Zlatev, 2024-05-25 (Update: 2024-05-25)