Tesla Goes Up in Smoke… Three Times

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The owner of another Tesla has died – horribly – in Davie, Florida after his car struck a tree and burst into flames.

It then burst into flames again – post mortem – while the carcass was being hauled away to the wrecking yard.

And then once more, at the wrecking yard. News story here.

Unlike other cars, Teslas remain dangerous even after they wreck.

And not just Teslas.

The danger applies to electric cars in general, because the lithium-ion battery packs which power many of them are susceptible to spontaneous combustion if the structure of the battery – its case – is physically damaged as the result of impact forces in a crash and thermal runaway occurs.

Short circuits within the battery release tremendous energy – violently.

And repeatedly.

Think Whack-a-Mole, except with a fire hose.

Electric cars are the only cars – other than Christine, the fictitious ’57 Plymouth with the body by Plymouth and soul by Satan – which can kill multiple times.

With no one behind the wheel.

Or at least, no one still alive.

EVs can kill in other ways, too.

Lithium-ion battery fires are unusually toxic. They release poisonous gasses, including hydrogen fluoride. When this stuff comes into contact with moisture – such as is present on the surface of the human eyeball, for instance – it converts into hydrofluoric acid and that can cause rapid destruction of corneas, resulting in permanent blindness.

Breathing the stuff can cause death from cardiac arrhythmia and fluid build-up in the lungs.

The government seems remarkably indifferent. This is interesting, given the usual (supposed) obsession with our saaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaafety.

Why not now?

This is the same government which sics armed goons on people for not wearing seatbelts.

It is the same government which practically crucified VW over a theoretical risk to “public health” – a vague conception based on assertions about the effect of tenths of a percent differences in exhaust emissions from “cheating” diesel-powered cars – which haven’t been shown to have caused actual harm to any actual person.

As opposed to electric cars that have actually killed people – and will kill again.

EVs double-down on the danger of roasting their owners to death – or blinding/choking them to death.

They are inherently more vulnerable to auto-immolation and not just because of chemistry but because they are literally more vulnerable.

Physically vulnerable.

The EV’s battery pack is very big – and very heavy – and for that reason, is spread out over the length of the EV’s floorpan. Otherwise, the EV would have a very small trunk – or a very cramped passenger compartment – and also be tipsy.

So the pack is laid flat and low – and comparatively thin (vs. a gas tank).

But now you’ve got a battery pack that’s susceptible to being damaged – and auto-immolating – from almost any impact, whether from the side or from behind or from crashing into something, as in the Florida incident.

Gas-powered cars are inherently less vulnerable to going up in smoke because the gas tank isn’t spread out all the length of the car’s floorpan. Even pile-driving into a tree – as the Florida Tesla driver apparently did – usually won’t damage the gas tank, because it’s located in the rear part of the car.

And even if the tank is damaged in a crash – and gas leaks – it won’t necessarily cause a fire. Because gasoline doesn’t spontaneously combust.

There’s also the happy fact that once a gas fire is put out, the danger is over.

There is also much less danger over time.

Because of wear and tear.

An old car’s gas tank may develop a leak; it isn’t necessarily dangerous. But an old EV’s aging battery pack could develop a crack – and that is very dangerous. Hit a bad pothole in your 12-year-old Tesla and… what’s that smell?

Better hope the doors unlock once the power shorts out.

How many will have to die before the government begins to show some . . . concern?

Right now, it is showing the same degree of concern about auto-immolating EVs as it has shown about known defective air bags – several hundred thousand of which remain in circulation because the government hasn’t issued a fatwa ordering them to be sidelined until they can be fixed.

Think about this.

All those pour souls who have to drive to work every day sitting inches away from a known defective air bag that could kill them aren’t even allowed to have the known defective bags temporarily turned off until they can be fixed.

And government goons will Taser you if you refuse to “buckle up” or wear a helmet on your motorcycle.

That’s how much the government cares about our saaaaaaafety.

The truth is that our saaaaaaaaaaaaafety is of much less concern to the government than getting us to accept EVs. Or rather, tricking us into accepting them.

It is analogous to a pet owner hiding an unpleasant-tasting pill in a meatball, to get the animal to eat it. With the difference being that the pet owner actually does have the best interests of Fido at heart.

The government’s true interests are murkier.

Clearly, saaaaaaaaaaafety is just a cover for whatever else it has in mind; whatever serves its interests.

One of those interests may be the fact that EVs will limit our mobility. They can’t go as far – and they take far longer to get going again. They are severely gimped by extreme cold – and high heat.

And they are very expensive – which serves the interests of the banking cartel, which wants us all in perpetual debt as much as the government wants us under control – both amounting to the same things, really.

Neither of them having anything to do with our saaaaaaaaafety.

. . .

Got a question about cars – or anything else? Click on the “ask Eric” link and send ’em in!

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85 COMMENTS

  1. You know how in the movies, cars explode furiously? Well now they do in real life! LOL Can’t even make this stuff up.

    • Hi Harry,

      Yup!

      Also, do you recall Demolition Man? The scene with the multiple air bag deployments (and endless saaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaafety) prattling was incredibly predictive.

      • Yes I recall that. And in ‘The 6th Day’ one of the vehicles (a pickup truck) had a steering wheel that shrunk up and disappeared into the dash, because it was a self driving vehicle. When I saw that I was like “Oh heck no, why would it even do that?!”. lol

  2. Just for comparison sake;
    A dude rear ended a nissan maxima at the end of my block (on the secondary road). He hit it so hard, it was crushed all the way to the back of the passenger seat. If anyone was in the back they’d have been toast.

    Dude driving the Nissan stepped out of it (the driver door burst open).

    And when I waddled down to size things up, as the fire department arrived, the car was still running. Wipers one, motor on. You could see the totally intact gas tank. No leaks.

    With damage to the front as well (He was shot like a pool cue through a street lamp), there’s no way a Tesla wouldn’t have ignited.The damage was far, far worse than that Tesla video.

    It’s scandalous that these things are still on the road. They canned pintos for a far less serious design flaw.

    • Hi Techie,

      Indeed. The fact that they are on the road makes the point – in neon flashing lights – that saaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaafety is not the real agenda.

  3. My younger brother still has our late father’s 2003 E450 motor-home with the Triton V-10. That mother sucks gas, about 8-10 at best, lol! But it’s an apartment on 6 wheels, so what can you say?

  4. Hey eric,

    Apart from the fact that they lock you in and cook you alive if you crash them…. have you heard of the whompy wheel issue with these as well?

    A car which can potentially get from zero to 60 in under 3 seconds…. can also have the tires fall off (and then when you crash it locks you in and cooks you alive!)

    But no safety issue here!!

    • Hi Nasir,

      No! I will dig into it, though.

      I have heard (had people email me about) horrendous service-related issues with Teslas and also appalling fit/finish problems.

  5. Don’t want to steer anyone weong. The NFPA through their tests recommends large amounts of water through LDH (large diameter hoses) or even a master stream to extinguish electric vehicle fires. And re-ignition is an ever present hazard. Pretty crazy, it’s more like an industrial fire than a vehicle fire.

    • Hi Wikoli,

      Yup. It is nothing less than a outrage that the government – which preens about saaaaaaaaaafety whenever it can be used to justify further tightening our leash – allows this very clear and present danger on the roads.

      If I owned a two truck or wrecking yard, I would categorically refuse to deal with any EV unless the owner had a bond/surety to cover any losses incurred in the event the wreck re-ignites.

      • If I owned a two truck or wrecking yard, I would categorically refuse to deal with any EV unless the owner had a bond/surety to cover any losses incurred in the event the wreck re-ignites.

        It wouldn’t surprise me if the corruptos who rule us made such a demand illegal (like they make it illegal to discriminate against protected classes of people, even when dealing with said people puts your assets or even your life in danger).

        • Remember the apparent goal. To make automobiles too expensive and too much of a pain for people to own. So the government wouldn’t demand scrap yards, tow yards, etc to take EVs without special surcharges government would _REQUIRE_ surcharges. But that will happen once people are forced into EVs.

  6. Retired FF here: We got all sorts of “watch outs” about electric vehicles, high voltage, battery disconnects, lion hazmat, etc. Fighting an electric vehicle battery fire is similar to fighting a magnesium fire with the old VW engine blocks: water to cool, then CO2 and dry chem all together. Thank God I’m retired!!!
    Aloha, Vic

  7. With all the engineer types posting here I’d think someone would know what puts out this kind of battery fire quickly. Guess not. Halon might work though it has largely been banned due to alleged ozone eating characteristics.
    You might think they would build in some kind of fire extinguishing gas or blanket on these things. “Maybe later…”

    • There’s no way to put this fire out quickly.

      Halon disperses really fast, it’s more suited to indoor fires which are contained to a room. It would remove all oxygen in a room, and poof, no fire.

      The problem with the battery fires is that there’s a short circuit generating enormous amounts of heat, and even if you took out all the air, the battery is made from chemicals that oxidize each other (that’s how batteries work), so you will continue to have fires as long as there’s a circuit.

      The best way to put one of these out? Blow it up into a million pieces. Each one won’t have enough energy to burn.

      • Remember the fire triangle: heat, oxygen, fuel —

        Ordinarily, you’d use a smothering agent like Foam to quench the fire…the trouble with Halon, while it will TEMPORARILY snuff out the fire (by displacing the oxygen), once the area ventilates, the fire may flare up again. Somehow, the batteries have to be disconnected from each other and whatever they’re powering, so some form of “kill” switching needs to be used. Also, are the Tesla’s batteries REACTIVE with water? You’d know by the Hazmat rectangle, on the bottom, if it’s recommended to NOT use water to extinguish the fire, there will be a “W” with a horizontal slash through it.

        • Yeah, the problem with those batteries is that heat, oxidizer, and fuel are present in the battery pack itself. More oxygen is needed for the secondary fire, but the’ll burn just fine in complete vacuum. I’ve had lithium ion cells happily burn in a bucket of water.

    • Nope those bureaucraps have orgasms about hearing us burnt to death in electric cars. Suits their agenda 30 policy of eliminating 95% of the population. Themselves excepted of course.

  8. Lithium-ion battery fires are unusually toxic. They release poisonous gasses, including hydrogen fluoride. When this stuff comes into contact with moisture – such as is present on the surface of the human eyeball, for instance – it converts into hydrofluoric acid…

    I learned about hydrofluoric acid when I worked in a diode manufacturing plant, where it is used extensively. Unique among acids, the molecule is so small that it sinks rapidly through skin and penetrates all the way to the bone, causing damage all the way. Nasty stuff. I would not own a vehicle that was likely to release it in a collision (while trapping me and burning me to death).

  9. Speaking of Tesla battery fires, there’s this other problem: How will fire departments handle electric car battery fires? I’m not a firefighter or expert on fighting fires, but since these batteries contain certain combustible metals/metalloids, some of which react violently with water and other conventional fire-fighting agents used to fight vehicle fires, such as foam, fire departments will need additional equipment, such as Class D fire extinguishers (which aren’t cheap) to put out electric car fires…and if you wonder who’s paying for that, look in the mirror.

    • If I had an electric car, I’d invest in a type “K” extinguisher, designed to smother out magnesium fires. It’s also handy if one owns an old-school VW Beetle.

  10. And WHERE, pray tell, is RALPH NADER? Do you see this opportunistic ambulance-chaser housing Tesla, Inc, over the obvious danger that the battery packs pose in terms of crash-worthiness and fire safety? Or where is Mother Jones magazine, decrying the fire hazard of THIS vehicle? Without a doubt, considering the actual miles driven, the Tesla has already compiled a far worse record than either the ill-fated Chevy Corvair (an actual refreshing effort in economy car technology of the times that had performance potential) or the Ford Pinto (the actual rates per mile for subcompact cars was not remarkably worse for the Pinto than others in its class), so WHERE THE HELL are these standard-bearers of the radical left to rail against “Corporate America”. Oh, that’s right, Tesla is FAVORED, a crony capitalist favorite of the Dummycrats, so they’re EXEMPT from criticism.

      • That’s like saying “Forgive Teddy Kennedy for the murder of his car passenger that he dodged and escaped all responsibility for, just because he is old. Nader is no better than Teddy K. They deserve to be despised and derided until the day they die, and then burn in Hell.

  11. Eric
    govt does not care if 100 people a day die in EV’s just like they don’t care how many people kneegrows and illegals kill. they will continue these policies. they just tested diesel car emissions and they were way lower then the stupid EPA standards. with BMW and Mercedes the best and surprisingly Honda the highest but sill below standards. THE GOVT DOES NOT CARE about those facts. the only way to stop these people is to terminate them

  12. I wonder why the IHS crash tests don’t expose fire risks? Are the cars tested not energized, charged or full of fuel when crashed?

    • You mean the Insurance Institute for Higher Surcharges? (they say highway safety, but reality is higher surcharges) The big insurance companies (and hence the IIHS) aren’t likely to buck the corporate-government narrative but then again if people don’t have cars anymore what are they going to do for revenue long therm? Then again I wonder if the insurance racket can think long term since they never had an issue pricing people out of cars with their mandatory insurance.

  13. I remember the 1st year of the Pontiac Fiero having oil-fire issues with the 4-cylinder. The car was more fun to drive, and Waaaaaay more affordable than a Tesla, but that issue alone pretty much doused the buying frenzy in a heartbeat. I think of a single car that compares to the thrill of private aviation, and the Tesla is well into that price range…for a goddamn crippled-ass “luxury sedan”. People must really have shit for brains to pay that kind of money for crematorium on 4 wheels! My son is now a pilot as well, AND own his own plane, AND paid much less than a Tesla, AND uses his brain to be a competent, responsible pilot. I think that last bit is what keep most upper middle-class that do have the disposable income to afford private aviation, out of them. What level of responsibility is an automobile by comparison? None. It’s the easy gratification route for those who have more money than brains, or at least the desire to use them.

    • It’s a four-wheeled form of “Virtue Signaling”…HEY, I’m driving in a SUSTAINABLE manner! The same sort of pontifical BS spouted by drivers of the Toyota “Pious”, aka Prius. Now, I’ve nothing against the engineering of the Prius itself, and IF it made it in the marketplace w/o all the tax credits, which, BTW, the affluent can better use, then more power to Toyota for innovation. But it’s not sold on engineering merit..rather, if you drive a “Pious”, you’re BETTER than the “Deplorables”.

  14. Eric,

    I don’t know if you’re familiar with it, but there’s a racing series called Formula E. They race single seat, open wheel race cars on street circuits. The cars are powered by electric motors in lieu of ICEs. I’m a fan of the series because they offer some of the BEST racing on the planet; we’re talking about nose to tail, wheel to wheel action with more bumping and banging than NASCAR! During the Santiago, Chile race only 12 or 13 the cars finished out of 22 that started the race.

    That said, I wonder what will happen if one of the cars catch fire? What will happen to the drivers? What about the race teams if a car catches fire in the garage or pits? What about the safety personnel, whose job it is to deal with wrecks and rescue injured drivers? With all the impacts during a race, I’m curious as to why a car hasn’t caught fire yet? What will happen when they do? What will be the fallout if this happens? I knew of the obvious dangers, like electric shock and thermal runaway, but was unaware of the hydrogen flouride fumes. I’m curious.

    If you want to see Formula E accident, here’s Nick Heidfeld’s crash from the inaugural 2014 E-Prix held in Beijing, China: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l0O3V8pJj0E

    Those are my thoughts…

    • Hi Mark,

      Electric race cars do nothing for me. What is racing without the sound of an engine screaming? And gears changing? Electric cars are homogenous. Different colors and shapes, but fundamentally the same things. A motor and a battery. A Makita vs. DeWalt cordless drill.

      Going fast isn’t everything. Where is the emotion?

      • Eric is dead-on. I attended the Grand Prix of Monaco in 2006. The engines were un-rev-limited 2.4 liter V-8s. The engines spun up to 20,000 rpm. They screamed. They split your eardrums. It was the best pain I’ve endured. The scent of high-octane gasoline wafted through the air. The F1 cars were gorgeous. The sound and the prospect of driving them on the narrow streets of Monaco made them intimidating. They were fast.

        Racing is more than speed (though no series is faster than Formula 1). It’s a combination of sight, sounds, smell, and racing. It’s also about intrigue with the drivers. It’s a visceral experience with some drama. Formula E has racing, and that’s it.

        As for Formula E cars, they sound like slot cars. They may be fast, but’s that’s all they are. Formula E is really no more than an exercise in major corporations appeasing government overlords.

          • I believe I just wrote a comment explaining why my experience with Formula 1 was more than enduring a high-speed parade. But live and let live. Do what you want. Attend a Formula E race to experience all the “excellent” racing. I’ll return to Monaco instead to watch the “high-speed parade” in your words. I’ve seen Schumacher race in person — at Monaco (with Ferrari) and Canada (with Mercedes). He was good, but I’ve never been much for man-crushes. I can’t quite gush over him, as you have.

            • By high speed parade, I mean little or no passing. The first F1 race I saw was the 1998 GP in Spain; I can’t remember the track now. That said, I do remember the action-or lack thereof. During the entire race there as not ONE pass-not one! I’m sorry, but that’s not my idea of excitement.

              I don’t have a man-crush on Schumi, but I do acknowledge his greatness. If you’re talking about GOATs, he HAS to be in the conversation. I mean he only won 7 F1 championships-five of them CONSECUTIVELY! Even if you’re not a fan of his (I was more of Juan Montoya fan after watching him in the old CART series; I also liked David Coulthard, Mika Hakkinen, and Kimi Raikkonen), there’s no way one can ignore the greatness of Michael Schumacher. No one else won as many championships, and that’s all that counts at the end of the day.

              As for Schumi coming back with Mercedes (or looking at his tenure @ Benetton and Jordan), that’s Exhibit A for having the right driver/team combination. Could Schumi have won the way he did had he been with any other team BESIDES Ferrari in his prime? I don’t think so.

              For the record, before my mom died a few years ago, I was a HARD CORE race fan. If it raced, I followed it. I’m talking F1, NASCAR, IndyCar, NHRA, lawn mowers, jet boats, etc.; if it had a motor and raced, I followed it. After my mom died, I was busy with estate stuff and got out of following racing. I’m just now getting back in to racing, but I’ll be more selective in what I watch; I want to have time to do other things.

              I like FE because the races are short; the whole show (pre-race, race, and post-race) is two hours, max. I can get my race fix and do other things. F1 races don’t take up much time either, and they usually come on early; I can watch the F1 race, then go for a ride in the afternoon. NASCAR races, at least at the Cup level, are way too freakin’ LONG! I’ll follow NHRA too when I have the chance.

              BTW, did you follow the 2009 F1 season? That was my favorite race season ever. Ross Braun had just bought out the old BAR Honda team and had to redesign the chassis to accommodate the Mercedes engine. No one thought that they’d do much of anything because of all that. Braun Mercedes and Jenson Button went on to win the constructors and drivers championships respectively. That was a great season! I’m glad I got to witness it.

        • What’s wrong with racing slot cars? They’re fun and they’re CHEAP! A wreck won’t break your bank account, hahaha… 🙂

      • Where’s the emotion? Oh, there’s plenty! Just look at the rivalry between Nelson Piquet, Jr. and Lucas DiGrassi; there’s NO love lost between the two Brazilians! Look at Buemi and DiGrassi. Or you missed Sebastian Buemi and Robin Frijns getting into it at Montreal.

        I got into FE by accident; I stumbled across it while channel surfing on day. I stayed because the ON TRACK action is excellent. It’s not a high speed parade that F1 has become. I watch F1 to see the tech and learn about the team/driver dramas, etc., but the on track product F1 has been seriously lacking. If it weren’t for the off track stuff, I don’t know if I’d watch F1.

        I could tolerate the lack of passing an on track action when Schumi was driving. There was nothing better than watching him build a sufficient lead before a pit stop. He’d run fast lap after fast lap so he’d have a big enough lead to STILL be P1 after pitting. NOBODY was more clutch than Schumi! When it came time to deliver, he always delivered. That was a thing of beauty to watch. Unfortunately, Schumi retired.

      • Eric,

        I’m curious as to what will happen the first time they have a FIRE though. Even though I’m a fan of FE, I’m concerned after learning about the real dangers of a Li ion battery fire.

        • I’ve seen SCCA races back when Speedvision used to exist. That was some GREAT racing! I used to like the Miatas; they did some HARD racing… 🙂

          • I don’t know where you live but, I bet there’s an SCCA chapter near you.

            http://www.scca.com

            You can get involved in any number of levels of competition from autocross: Run what ya’ brung against the clock on a course laid out with traffic cones to time trials like hillclimbs and Track Night in America and full on racing. It takes a lot to put on these events and it’s all done with volunteers…if you’d like to volunteer I’m sure you’d be welcome with open arms.

            • I’d be more interested to know how you’d deal with some of the “other” problems of sanctioned racing. Problems like limited availability (maybe none, if you work a job with a goofy schedule) or the fact that as far as I know only autocross allows run-what-you-brung. Like, where do you go when it’s a random weeknight and all you have is your daily driver?

                • Yeah, I know. That’s why I brought it up. I was making a point. Seems an awful waste to bother tuning up a car when you can only really use it 5-6 times a year if you’re lucky and your day job cooperates.

                  There is actually an amusement park nearby with electric karts, and they’re pretty fun, but it’s just not the same somehow. That’s also the only racetrack in the my entire state (unless there’s another kart place somewhere I don’t know about) that has both left and right turns, before you say anything.

                • Oh, and now that I’ve remembered, most racetracks are pretty neutered anyway, frequently in the name of safety. When you find one that’s almost 9 miles a lap and packs four-digit elevation change into that lap, let me know.

                  • Like the new ‘Nurburgring’ was neutered in the name of safety. Monza did away with the high speed oval decades ago. And Spa is like half the distance it USED to be. Don’t get me started…

                  • Hi Chuck,

                    Amen. The Safety Cult is ruining racing, too. Restrictor plates, etc. It is also trying to do the same to fuhhhhhhhtttttball and other “contact” sports. Much as I loathe jock sniffing, the obsession with “the game,” I despise the Safety Cult far more, because of the mortal threat it represents to liberty.

                    “Safety” is one of those things without specific definition – so it can be defined to suit any purpose. Moreover, once the principle is accepted that anyone’s “safety” is the enforceable “concern” of someone else, you’ve given those someones all the pretext they need to limit liberty almost without limit.

                    • Eric,

                      The attitude of the racecar drivers used to be, “Hey, we’re big boys here; no one held a gun to our heads. We know the risks when we get in the car.”

                      Because cars had a nasty tendency to explode back in the ’60s, Stirling Moss would NOT wear a seat belt; he wanted to be able to escape should the car catch fire, which it often did when he raced. He thought wearing a belt was ‘a bit sissy’. He said he’s glad he didn’t race today.

                      Back when Moss raced, it was a given that you’d lose 3-5 drivers per season. If you stayed in the game a few years, most of the guys you knew would be gone.

                      Stirling Moss and Dan Gurney both said, and I agree, that all this safety stuff has given today’s drivers a false sense of security; they said that today’s driver will take risks that they wouldn’t DREAM of when they raced. When Gurney and Moss raced, being foolish had real CONSEQUENCES. I think that the same applies to road cars too.

                    • Despite the safety gear, cage, 6-point harness, HANS, fire resistant suit, I’ve still lost friends in amateur club racing. Yes, efforts are made and devices used to protect one at speed but, it can still get you killed. That, however, is to be minimized in a sport, for most of us, that is just that, a sport. We don’t make our living doing this. It COSTS money, we don’t win much if anything. If I ball the car up the repairs come from MY wallet and the skin comes off my knuckles to make repairs. It’s racing, not Russian roulette. If that makes me a pansy in the eyes of some, so be it.

                    • Hi Mark,

                      No argument; and I didn’t mean to infer otherwise. Club racing is – my opinion – what racing (pro) used to be but isn’t any longer.

                      Real cars, real people.

                    • @Mark in BC: My point was not to argue in favor of more drivers dying… my beef is with the course layouts specifically. Too wide, too smooth, too flat, not enough elevation change, not enough corner density, etc. etc. etc.

                      Compare the Nordschliefe to any “normal” racetrack and you’ll see what I mean. Even it’s not perfect (still has curbs where there should be ditches, for example), but it’s a much more intense and exciting drive even if you’re running alone.

                      Most tracks are 3 miles or less a lap… 10-12 corners… maybe 150 feet of elevation gap if you’re lucky… whereas the one local mountain road that isn’t already full of houses is about 8.75 miles end to end and gains 2000 feet in that distance. Really, there’s no comparison. Maybe now you can at least understand why I’m so desperate to justify street racing’s legitimacy. Especially when you consider it’s the only (curve-containing) environment I can think of where a 1998 Toyota pickup truck can run heads-up against a Mk 5 Golf without a rulemonger showing up to kneecap the Golf so the truck can keep up or slap a higher class label on it so the pickup driver doesn’t have to feel bad about losing.

                      Even if there was a racetrack somewhere whose owner never bothered to close the gate, it just wouldn’t be the same somehow. The layout, the topography, everything would still be wrong. Those places are set up for 20-30 fairly even cars going all at once, not two or three home-tuned daily drivers of, potentially, very dissimilar performance.

                      Some have suggested building private roads, but then someone’s going to crash and sue, so access would have to be limited to the builder and perhaps a few close friends (or people who have signed waivers, maybe). Frankly, I can’t think of many more efficient ways to flush millions of dollars down the sewer.

                    • To your point, there are still some hillclimb events, Chasing the Dragon, Joyce Kilmer Forest, Robbinsville, NC, that offer the kind of thing you’re missing. Some guardrail, mostly cliffs or rock faces to deal with. It’s only 2.25mi but, it’s getting harder to find such locales. One of the biggest problems is getting enough people to work corners for longer venues. If you can provide the location of the 8+ mile road I can have it looked into for a possible event.

                      Track rentals are going up and entries are not keeping pace. Being able to even consider building a track these days in almost impossible due to many of the reasons you stated. Repaving a 2.25 mile track runs into the millions of dollars. As far as elevation change goes it has much to do with the topography one has to work with. VIR has some excellent elevation changes, Daytona not so much.

                      As far as street racing, everyone thinks they’re Mario Andretti. I feel safer on track than I do going to and from venues. the level of driver training in this country is abysmal. Teens are taught by GovCo, certified by GovCo they proceed to have a crash rate on the order of 80%+. What’s the solution? the answer from many is MORE GovCo!! Don’t get me started down that path.

                      In Liberty,
                      Mark in BC

                    • @Mark in BC

                      Hillclimbs have their own problems – still only run once or twice a year, uphill only (obviously), and because it’s still sanctioned racing, the laxer rules just end up attracting giant tube-framed diffusers masquerading as cars. But here you go. Knock yourself out, I guess. I won’t be able to participate, of course, but someone else might be satisfied with enjoying driving once a year.

                      https://gmap-pedometer.com/?r=7348068

      • It should be noted that Ferdinand Porsche’s ill-fated Tiger (P), which was rejected for the Panzerkawpfwagen “Tiger” heavy tank in favor of Henschel’s more conventional design, used a gasoline-electric drive. Even though this design did have some promise (including, by having a bank of batteries, no great handicap in a 60-ton tank, the ability to sneak up on a target with the engine off), it had serious defects which were apparent to Col. Gen Heinz Guderian, Inspector-General of the Panzerwaffe. Among them were the reliance on nearly 2500 kg of copper per vehicle, which Germany was quite short of, and the alarming tendency of the electric drive to CATCH FIRE (the problem of unexpected combustibility also was a problem for the vaunted “Panther” tank, as it used the same V12 Maybach engine as the Tiger in a more cramped engine compartment, with predictable results). Not to be daunted, Porsche tried AGAIN with his submittal for the Tiger II, or “King Tiger”, but this time the mistake of authorizing the production of 100 hulls this time wasn’t made…nay, this time, Porsche had gotten Krupp, the maker of the turrets and the main weapon, to produce FIFTY turrets, and these were fitted to the first 50 hulls produced by Henschel…hence, the “Konigstiger” is actually two different versions, the “Porsche” turret, and the “production” turret, which both were made by Krupp.

        What happened to the 100 Tiger (P) hulls, produced in anticipation of a full-scale production run? They didn’t go to waste…they were sent back, and fitted with a fixed superstructure to house the new and quite oversized KwK 43 88mm gun…this oversized and ponderous tank destroyer was christened the “Ferdinand”, but after its rather dubious debut at Kursk (32 of the 75 vehicles committed were lost, the primary reason being that somehow NONE of them had a machine gun or grenade launcher to deal with stalking infantry, most being taken out by RPGs or Molotov cocktails rather than AP rounds from Soviet armor). The survivors, along with those that didn’t make it to the Eastern front, were redesigned and fitted with the necessary weapons to deal with infantry. At Porsche’s insistence, the redesigned Schwerepanzerjager was dubbed “Elefante” (Elephant), a refreshing example of truth in naming, most serving in Italy for the remainder of the war.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elefant

  15. “Better hope the doors unlock once the power shorts out.”

    Definitely your Best One Liner Of The Year!

    Nobody says ROFL any more. But that perfectly describes my reaction. 🙂

    • Tesla’s are designed with door handles that are “retracted” and must be extended in order to be used. When an airbag deploys, the door handles are supposed to automatically extend to allow someone outside the vehicle to open the door. In this crash, the door handles did not extend so the first responders had no way to get the driver out of the vehicle. But no big deal. Just because the vehicle didn’t work as intended and a father of five burned to death, well, sacrifices have to be made. The NTSB is not investigating this incident.

      • “sacrifices have to be made”

        That’s what I get when I am critical of TM’s shoddy engineering outside of this website. The narrative promoters, the teacher repeaters, the fan bois will use that argument with all sincerity. But the next time some multivariate field failure is misdiagnosed at a traditional automaker there they are again up in arms about how GM/Toyota/Ford/whatever is out there killing their customers to save a nickel.

  16. It is more than just the battery pack that is vulnerable. Any possible short without a fuse can do it. For instance the cabling once outside the battery pack. The battery should immediately feed into a main breaker. Should. Also ideally there should be some sort of circuit breaker and some last resort fuse in the battery pack itself. Did TM do this? I have no idea but they have had other blunders in the past.

    Also battery packs can be punctured from below by road debris. While the TM battery pack seems fairly stout there have been instances of fires that way as I recall. Also there are instances where road debris have done in gasoline powered vehicles. But gasoline vehicles need the tank to be punctured plus a spark. All a Li-Ion battery pack needs is the piece of steel to puncture it. It provides the rest.

  17. Whenever I pull up behind a Tesla at a red light, I give them a few extra yards of space…. just in case. They don’t have to get in a wreck for there to be damage to the battery casing. They could just hit a nasty pothole or have an undiscovered manufacturer defect. As far as I am concerned, all Teslas are potential mobile IEDs.

    • On the plus side, they are normally driven by libs and clovers (I repeat myself), so at least they have the unintended benefit of natural selection.

    • I live in the NY metro area and Teslas are pretty common, along with their drivers’ virtue signaling (VSing, hee hee) via their vanity plates. Know about all the fire problems, as well as the politics in de-motoring and controlling the average person (there was an article recently about reaching ‘peak car’), but I didn’t realize until this article that the batteries were laid on the FLOOR PAN of the car. This is an OMG of design that should warn off even the lo-IQ white wine swilling lefties up in Franklin Lakes NJ.

      All one has to do is envision a Tesla playing chicken with a Metro-North or LIRR train just like a ICE car did this week in Westbury LI. That car against two trains at a crossing turned into a small ball of smoking wreckage killing all in the car but fortunately not anyone in the train. Add to this mix a IED …oops, Tesla, and a train fire that you can’t put out.

      Where the hell is the NTSC anyway? Elon Musk is a charlatan, and a dangerous one.

      • I checked that wreck out today, it started out as a truck carrying 3 people. It got slammed by 2 trains going opposite directions and derailed one into a passenger platform, no train deaths, but several severely injured. All killed in the truck.

        • Oh, and apparently the Governor has called for ” a full investigation of the crash”, really? Some shithead runs a crossing gate killing himself and his passengers, injures Metro riders, and this demand a ” full scale investigation” from the Governor? No wonder 90% of society has become a bunch of frantic, nail-biting alarmists. This “official” reaction is overkill, pun intended.

        • Early reports couldn’t even identify the vehicle. The only reason there weren’t fatalities in the train was that the engineer saw he was going to smash into the train platform at Westbury and got himself and the only passenger to the back of the front car. Some of the injured are barely hanging on. This was just after rush hour fortunately. I used to commute on this line when I worked at Avis when it was in Garden City.

          Add a Lithium Ion fire to this and …you don’t want to think about it.

          Unfortunately it will take a far worse crash or fire incident (like smashing into a school, apartment building, or stores to rip the protective veil off Tesla and EVs in general.

          • I suspect no amount of harm to us “mundanes” will will matter to those protecting MuskRat and his Tesla. Some celebrity or politician will have to lose their child or family member before they do anything to that entitled prick.

      • Hi Dee,

        It’s worse than that… because it’s not just Tesla. Lithium-ion batteries are very common generally in EVs and for reasons of packaging, the packs are laid out over the length of the car’s floorpan, as described in the article.

        The fact that all of this is “allowed” speaks volumes about the true agenda…

  18. From what I have read on Tesla there are manual releases for front doors. The rear doors on some have some little tab to pull — not easy — and on one you have to remove the speaker cover!

    As far as I can determine there is no way to open the doors from the outside. One would have to break the window and then try to figure out how the door opens,,, all while raging flames and toxic fumes surround you.

    Really sad…

    • Ken,

      “Really sad.”

      I’d say par for the course.

      Do the folks where you work and/or live even know where the fire extinguishers are? Do they know how to operate a fire extinguisher?

      Is there unfettered access to electric panels, fire exits, and extinguishers?

      Probably not.

      I was at a parts store the other day and went in back to use the bathroom. Every door marked “DO NOT BLOCK” was blocked. A used fuel tank was leaning against the wall next to a pallet of used car batteries a few feet from the government mandated used oil tank. I could smell the gas fumes.

      Every fire extinguisher and electric panel had things to trip over in the way.

      So if you don’t die on the trip to the parts store, you might get barbecued waiting for the pimpley faced kid who is selling you the wrong parts.

      Par for the course.

      • An insurance company inspection would have them knocking themselves out to get into compliance. I used to have a few friends who worked for Equifax as inspectors. To this day when you walk into a business they’ll be looking it over. It’s tough for them to even go out to eat having seen so much horrible stuff in kitchens.

        I once worked in the commercial side of electric repair and construction. Restaurants were unbelievably nasty kitchen wise.

    • Other cars (Corvette) have stupid electric doors with hidden and semi-hidden mechanical releases. It’s just stupid. Nothing is gained but styling and the ability to what? Open the doors with a touch screen? People have died because of getting stuck in their cars and not knowing where the emergency release was located or even that one existed. But the excuse is they should have read the manual. Ok, great. Still, what is gained? Now people have to read the manual even if they are passenger in a car? What is gained for this? Nothing of value.

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