Tuesday, October 8, 2013

More Green Energy Success!

I love poking fun at the Tesla, I really do. Brad_in_MA sends in this helpful little story about why electric cars are relegated to toys for the rich and famous and not much else:

Battery fire a challenge for Tesla (Video)
Tesla has suffered a setback after a battery fire damaged one of the company's hot new electric cars in Seattle this week, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.

Elon Musk's Palo Alto-based company, which recently opened a service center in Rocklin, saw its stock price plunge after the fire. A piece of road debris pierced the lithium-ion battery, the paper reports. The driver was not injured.
Watch the video. That car is fully engulfed, and this was after a small piece of road debris pierced the battery. Listen to the imbecile talk about "a lot of cars catch on fire after being hit". Um, no, dolt, they don't. Cars very rarely burst into fire from collisions - most of the time, when you see a car fire, it's because of a mechanical malfunction. In this case, though, it was a light collision, something that - in a regular car - might have dented something or possible pierced the oil pan, resulting in catastrophic engine failure if not caught immediately. But no fire.

That's a $100,000 car right there reduced to a smoking hulk over something it hit in the road, folks. Sure, insurance will (should? might?) cover it, but shouldn't a car that costs as much as a decent small house in certain areas of the country be a little more robust than that? I mean, sure, the Tesla is driven exclusively by people with more money than brains, but this is ridiculous.

Then again, when the battery replacement cost is $40,000 - more than a good number of new cars out there - I guess there's truth to the phrase apocryphally attributed to PT Barnum about certain birth rates...

That is all.


ASM826 said...

$100,000 heck of a lot more than a decent small house in this area. I'm living in a house that I suspect wouldn't bring $60,000 if I tried to sell it.

$100,000 for a car, any car, is beyond reality. Although a car that will barbeque itself if it hits a piece of road debris is pretty unusual.

Weer'd Beard said...

Its like a Pinto if all the Pinto hype was REAL!

Jake (formerly Riposte3) said...

In 16 years of EMS, I have seen plenty of wrecks, minor and major. I have never, ever, seen a vehicle catch fire due to one. In fact, every single vehicle fire I've seen has been a result of either an electrical malfunction, or the catalytic converter overheating.

And I only paid $90,000 for my house. $100k for a car is ridiculous.

Anonymous said...

I seriously doubt it was just road debris.

Jim said...

The liberal car ran across the laws of thermodynamics, and it's head esplodeed.

Sunk New Dawn
Galveston, TX

Ed said...

It is like the manufacturers of the Concorde blaming runway debris for the crash of the airplane.

Radical Islander said...

It was a curved piece of metal that punctured 1/4" steel plate before entering the battery compartment.

Had a regular car run over that piece of metal, it could have easily punctured the gas tank, and there would have been gasoline everywhere, which would almost certainly have caught fire, possibly before the occupants were able to escape.

I am not a fan of the Tesla for several reasons, but in this case I do not think the Tesla performed worse than a gasoline-powered vehicle.

Will said...

There have been a number of injuries and deaths of car drivers from impalement by steel bars/rods that were laying in the roadway. They get bounced upwards by tires, and punch through the car. When you have the mass of the car at one end, and the other against the roadway, you have the equivalent of a boar and a spear.

BTW, my beat partner encountered a crashed car (spun into a tree, IIRC) that was on fire, with the driver trapped. His wimpy 5ft hex pry bar bent like a pretzel while trying to get the door open. He had his radio on the wrong channel, so I never heard him calling for help. I was only a 1/4 mile behind him, but it was obscured by an overpass.
But, yeah, that's a rare occurrence. Most are mechanical failure types. HATE car fires, everything that can burn is poisonous, pretty much.

I've encountered various cars with crankcases, transmissions, and gas tanks ripped open by road debris. Amazing what falls off of trucks and trailers on the highway.
The odds of having a gas tank catch fire from being punctured, or ripped open, is fairly low. Odds of a battery pack? Pretty much one to one, I think.

Will said...

The early Pinto was a bad tank system. My sister got a ride home from one of her teachers after school, and the Pinto got rear-ended at the next corner. Teacher burned to death.
Similar problem with the Opel Kadet Wagon. I recall one with two women in it. After the fire, all that was left was two skeletons in the front seats.