Elon Musk: Gas, Diesel Cars 5x More Flammable Than EVs

The EV world has been alight this week with talk of the Tesla Model S fire. In fact, we posted our own thoughts on the fire and how we believe that some perspective was needed.

The incident even promoted a blog post from Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk that pointed out that not only did the car behave as expected in the situation – telling the driver something was wrong, asking them to pull over and taking steps to keep the fire contained and away from the occupants – but that if the same situation had happened to an internal combustion vehicle, the outcome would likely have been far worse.

Tesla shares and the reputation of the luxury all-electric Model S seem to be bouncing back after the fire

In the blog post Musk states that the metallic object that instigated the accident cased ‘a powerful lever action as it went under the car, punching upward and impaling the Model S with a peak force on the order of 25 tons.’ That’s 22.7 tonnes for our non-US readers.

The news of this accident caused a slump in Tesla shares – albeit momentarily. It seems that a quick response, public statements and an open and honest approach has led to the shares recovering. If only all companies could be this open!

Tesla Motor (TSLA) shares over the past 5 days

Tesla Motor (TSLA) shares over the past 5 days

But we don’t believe all of this is down to Tesla, we’re sure part of this is down to the owner and driver of the car, Robert Carlson. Not only has he publicly stated that he is still a ‘big fan’ of the Model S and is looking forward to getting back in one, but he is also a shareholder and pleased with the way in which the situation has been handled.

Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk. Image by Brian Solis, reproduced under Creative Commons CC BY 2.0

To reiterate that electric cars are safer than internal combustion cars, Musk’s blog post has some choice tidbits of information including: ‘…our battery pack is only about 10% of the energy contained in a gasoline tank and is divided into 16 modules with firewalls in between. As a consequence, the effective combustion potential is only about 1% that of the fuel in a comparable gasoline sedan.’

And, in keeping with our view that this whole situation should be kept in perspective, Musk says: ‘…there are 150,000 car fires per year according to the National Fire Protection Association, and Americans drive about 3 trillion miles per year according to the Department of Transportation. That equates to 1 vehicle fire for every 20 million miles driven, compared to 1 fire in over 100 million miles for Tesla. This means you are 5 times more likely to experience a fire in a conventional gasoline car than a Tesla!’

In summation, don’t worry. Just enjoy driving your plug-in car and continue to win people over with your EV Smile!


Want to keep up with the latest news in evolving transport? Don’t forget to follow Transport Evolved on Twitter, like us on Facebook and G+, and subscribe to our YouTube channel.

You can also support us directly as a monthly supporting member by visiting Patreon.com.

Related News