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  • OT Texas Tesla crash

    I was mystified as to the circumstances regarding the driverless Tesla in which two people died. Fortunately, it was a single vehicle accident, but what disturbed me most was the time it took to fight the fire, 4 hours. A burning car with a full tank of petrol (gas) would have been extinguished in a few minutes by firefighters. Is this the hidden future of transport?

  • #2
    The batteries are hard to extinguish. In some cases, the (Tesla) cars have reignited later when on the tow truck or in the storage yard. If this gets to be a commonplace occurrence, they will probably just drop the melted mess and people in it in a hole and call it done. I don't want a car I can't control. This is what happens.
    Kansas City area

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    • #3
      Imagine the long-term consequences when this same event happens in a tunnel or long underpass.

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      • #4
        I believe I read that in some European countries, they have what is basically a car sized dumpster. In case of an electric car fire, they scoop the burning car up with some kind of fork lift and deposit it in the dumpster to burn itself out. As was noted in he cordless tool fire thread a few months ago, lithium ion batteries are diffucult to extinguish.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by reggie_obe View Post
          Imagine the long-term consequences when this same event happens in a tunnel or long underpass.
          And with an electric 18 wheeler...

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          • #6
            Some fires are harder to extinguish than others, with lithium batteries being on the harder end of the spectrum
            THose attempting to use that as a negative to electric vehicles should take a look at how difficult it is to extinguish oil rig fires. Every technology has a downside. A traditional 18 wheeler on fire in a tunnel will block traffic just as much as its electric brother

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            • #7
              Originally posted by epicfail48 View Post
              Some fires are harder to extinguish than others, with lithium batteries being on the harder end of the spectrum
              THose attempting to use that as a negative to electric vehicles should take a look at how difficult it is to extinguish oil rig fires. Every technology has a downside. A traditional 18 wheeler on fire in a tunnel will block traffic just as much as its electric brother
              A traditional 18 wheeler on fire doesn't have the same potential to cause the structural damage a prolonged battery fire will.
              There are oil wells in residential, commercial and industrial areas of California. When was the last time you read of a California well fire destroying property or infrastructure.
              Electric vehicles will be fine when a safer battery technology is developed.

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              • #8
                The Tesla battery burning produces far less energy than a car tank full of gasoline. However water is simply the wrong thing to use on a lithium fire as it actually accelerates it. CO2 or dry chemical would likely have snuffed it out in seconds. And then there are people that want tanks of liquid hydrogen on board cars!

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by reggie_obe View Post
                  ........... When was the last time you read of a California well fire destroying property or infrastructure.
                  ............
                  Not a well, but a few years ago a natural gas pipeline fire took out a whole neighborhood.

                  Safer batteries are needed. While we are at it, a DIFFERENT battery.... a great time to obsolete all the current electric cars in favor of the swappable battery!
                  2730

                  Keep eye on ball.
                  Hashim Khan


                  It's just a box of rain, I don't know who put it there.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by reggie_obe View Post

                    A traditional 18 wheeler on fire doesn't have the same potential to cause the structural damage a prolonged battery fire will.
                    There are oil wells in residential, commercial and industrial areas of California. When was the last time you read of a California well fire destroying property or infrastructure.
                    Electric vehicles will be fine when a safer battery technology is developed.
                    https://www.wdrb.com/news/brent-spen...1c869cb45.html

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                    • #11
                      What caused all the damage? The burning diesel or the truck's contents?
                      Apples and Oranges.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Toolguy View Post
                        I don't want a car I can't control. This is what happens.
                        Evidently,according to the blackbox data, the driver assist was off and not being used. Nor could it have been used because there were no lane markings, which the Tesla's autopilot needs to work by, on that particular road. So it should have been under human control. With cars recording operating conditions and driver inputs, it gets a whole lot harder to blame the technology for operator shortcomings. This is much less about "evil machines" killing people and a lot more about people operating machinery stupidly. And I say this as someone who is not a big fan of Tesla.

                        As far as putting out the fire, a battery can be more difficult to put out. But since they are much more difficult to start on fire than petrol in the first place, it's still safer - if a lot more inconvenient for those poor suffering motorists who will need to detour around such rare occurrences. In any case, newer safer battery technology is already hitting the highways in small numbers and is expected to push the lithium batteries out of cars, (and other battery powered devices), in a few years.
                        If you think you understand what is going on, you haven't been paying attention.

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                        • #13
                          What type of non-lithium battery would that be?

                          I know of a solid (glass) electrolyte battery invented in texas by an inventor who has done a lot on the lithium battery as well. But that may be a decade or more from acceptance. It IS very very safe by comparison.

                          Any battery is going to resemble a bomb if it is very energy dense.

                          Hazmat is another issue entirely. It should not be routed through tunnels etc. That would include tanker trucks. Decades ago, one crashed and destroyed a bridge in the Twin Cities, the heat actually melted the handrails, and warped etc the rest of it.

                          2730

                          Keep eye on ball.
                          Hashim Khan


                          It's just a box of rain, I don't know who put it there.

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                          • #14
                            I'm sure all those batteries were crushed together instantly at the time of impact and went off in one giant arc / flash instantly setting the whole car on fire. Magnesium and some plastics are hard to extinguish.\, especially magnesium.

                            JL..............

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by JoeLee View Post
                              ................. and went off in one giant arc / flash instantly setting the whole car on fire. ................
                              And that is really the issue with big batteries, especially if they are right near you. Huge arc flash hazard if they do "go off".
                              2730

                              Keep eye on ball.
                              Hashim Khan


                              It's just a box of rain, I don't know who put it there.

                              Comment

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