Did Tesla Cars Catch Fire + Explode After Accident?!

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Did two Tesla electric cars catch fire, and explode spectacularly, after colliding in an accident?!

Take a look at the viral video, and find out what the facts really are!

 

Claim : Video Shows Tesla Cars On Fire + Exploding After Accident!

A video has gone viral on WhatsApp and social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter, with people claiming that it shows two electric vehicles, or Tesla cars, catching fire and exploding spectacularly, after colliding in an accident!

AlphaFox : This is what happens when one Tesla catches on fire.

BUDA : Tesla car battery exploding #tesla #elonmusk @elonmusk $TSLA

An incredible video, showing what can happen when two EVs collide. Note that both sides of the freeway have been shut down and there are no fire apparatus present because, once a lithium battery ignites, it cannot be easily extinguished and the fumes are toxic.

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Truth : Video Does NOT Show Tesla Cars On Fire + Exploding!

This is yet another example of FAKE NEWS circulating on WhatsApp, and social media platforms, and here are there reasons why…

Fact #1 : Video Was Recorded In Moscow, Russia

First, let me start by pointing out that the viral video was recorded on the Moscow Automobile Ring Road (MKAD).

Fact #2 : Video Was Recorded In July 2013

Next, you should know that the incident did not happen recently. In fact, it actually occurred on 13/14 July 2013 – more than 10 years ago!

Although the Tesla Roadster was displayed in Moscow as early as June 30, 2010, Tesla never sold any electric cars officially in Russia. Instead, Tesla enthusiasts in Russia imported them in by themselves, through a “Tesla Club”.

Even as late as 2020, there were only about 500 Tesla electric cars in Russia, with 400 of them sold through the Russian “Tesla Club”. Therefore, it is virtually impossible for two Tesla electric cars to be involved in an accident in Russia, in 2013…

Fact #3 : Exploding Vehicle Was A Propane Gas Truck!

The truth is – the incident involved a truck that was carrying propane gas tanks. No electric vehicles were involved.

In the video above, you can see that the propane gas truck driver was speeding, and slammed into the back of a grey van / mini bus that was changing lanes to the right.

The accident caused the 36 propane gas tanks to burst and catch fire. Some of them exploded spectacularly, while others flew around like rockets!

Despite the ferocity of the fire and explosions, no one died in the accident. The truck driver can be seen running away from the exploding gas tanks.

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Did Tesla Cars Catch Fire + Explode After Accident?!
Did Tesla Cars Catch Fire + Explode After Accident?!

Fact #4 : There Were Firefighters

The viral video does not show any firefighters, because it is only one minute long. The original video, which is over 8 minutes long, shows Russian police and firefighters arriving on the scene within minutes.

However, it seemed safer to just let the truck burn completely, as the propane gas tanks were still exploding and flying around. In fact, a Russian police car was almost hit by one of those flying gas tanks, and quickly beat a hasty retreat!

Fact #5 : Lithium Battery Fires Are Hard To Put Out

It is true that the lithium ion batteries used in electric vehicles can catch fire, and these lithium fires are notoriously hard to put out. Firefighters generally need to dump a ton of water on the burning electric vehicle for several hours.

That is why it is generally a good idea to simply let the electric vehicle burn itself out, unless the fire is threatening life or other property.

Electric vehicles will burn furiously, but they won’t explode like what was shown in the viral video. Those are, again, pressurised propane tanks exploding.

Fact #6 : Electric Vehicles Are Less Likely To Catch Fire

Electric vehicles can and do catch fire during car accidents, especially when their lithium ion battery packs are damaged or ruptured by the impact.

However, their overall fire risk is lower than internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles. According to AutoinsuranceEZ, ICE vehicles are 60X more likely to catch fire than an electric vehicle.

The riskiest are hybrid vehicles – they are 130X more likely to catch fire than an electric vehicle! The much higher fire risk in hybrid vehicles is likely due to the fact they have both a lithium-ion battery, and a gas tank filled with combustible fuel.

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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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