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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Actress Mary McCormack posts video of her husband's Tesla Model S in flames, shooting impressive jets of fire. Really!
http://digg.com/2018/tesla-on-fire

Reportedly the Tesla Mode S had not been involved in an accident but until an investigation is done we won't know what caused the vehicle fire.
 

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It will be interesting to see if they can find a root cause. We should NOT speculate on cause until some sort of investigation is completed. Hopefully the fire was put out before consuming onboard data collection devices (black box).

I can see the Sensationalist Headline on the National Nightly news already.

Another Tesla Explodes in flames!!!!
Run for the Hills. Driver narrowly escapes burning to death.

Meanwhile, 100 other vehicles caught fire somewhere in the US this morning that didn’t make the news beyond a few local news stories that needed filler content.


I once drove by a mini van at 2:00AM on the interstate, that was completely engulfed in flames. Plastics, vinyl and rubber burns very Red flames. The fire crews on the scene were not even trying to put it out at that moment I passed. The occupants of the vehicle were just standing clear of it watching everything go up in flames. They literally had nothing but the clothes they were wearing and whatever they grabbed exiting the vehicle. I couldn’t even imagine the anguish they were going through other than they all appeared safe and unharmed.

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Ignoring the very valid question of root cause, can anyone speak to what might be creating that blowtorch-like jet of flame coming out beneath the car?

-Jeff
 

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Ignoring the very valid question of root cause, can anyone speak to what might be creating that blowtorch-like jet of flame coming out beneath the car?

-Jeff
When a Lithium cell ruptures they out gas like that. There are Multiple pack modules with hundreds of cells. Once a cell ruptures it can start a continued chain reaction within the module. Its a bit like lighting off a string of firecrackers just slower reaction times.

The fire you see is likely plastic inner wheel arches and underbelly close out panels along with rubber mounts and hoses. not necessarily the batteries them selves.


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Discussion Starter #7
Ignoring the very valid question of root cause, can anyone speak to what might be creating that blowtorch-like jet of flame coming out beneath the car?

-Jeff
According to this article, an internal short or physical damage to a lithium ion battery can trigger a run away exothermic chemical reaction. There are several flammable gases produced when this happens. The battery will bulge, may explode or catch fire.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5577247/
 

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I believe this was a relatively old Model S (MY 2012), so anything is possible. An electrical short due to age and wear. Another possibility is dendrite buildup over time (the reason Tesla throttles Supercharger speeds after a certain number of sessions), which can eventually lead to the cell overheating and igniting.

This should be interesting.
 

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I believe this was a relatively old Model S (MY 2012), so anything is possible. An electrical short due to age and wear. Another possibility is dendrite buildup over time (the reason Tesla throttles Supercharger speeds after a certain number of sessions), which can eventually lead to the cell overheating and igniting.

This should be interesting.
So how are you able to make the distinction of it being MY2012?


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Discussion Starter #11
Another driver had to flag down the driver of the Tesla, let the Tesla driver know his Model S was on fire. Kind of like this Farmer's Insurance Ad.
 

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If I were that cop, I would have blocked the traffic further away and not stood in that smoke.
 

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So how are you able to make the distinction of it being MY2012?
It was referenced by some Tesla owners who were able to see the license plate number. You can tell by the first number in a California license plate what year it was issued (in this case, sometime in 2012).
 

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If I were that cop, I would have blocked the traffic further away and not stood in that smoke.
Yeah, no kidding.


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It was referenced by some Tesla owners who were able to see the license plate number. You can tell by the first number in a California license plate what year it was issued (in this case, sometime in 2012).
Are plates not transferable between vehicles of the same owner in CA. Our Volt has a plate on it that has been on 2 previous cars we’ve had.


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Watched an interesting documentary on lithium batteries on Knowledge network I believe it was. If punctured or dentrites can puncture the barrier membrane they can short out causing a fire which looks like a blow torch. Solid state lithium batteries do not need the barrier and unlike lithium ion batteries can't short out allowing them to use pure lithium with denser energy. In one example they had a flat battery running a laptop (tablet?) and as they cut up the battery with scissors, it kept on running the computer even though half of it was cut away. Then there's the inventor of the lithium ion battery working on the lithium glass battery that in the lab holds three time the energy, takes more recharges, shorter charge times and isn't affected by ambient temperatures. Working on cathode now. Could be the turning point.

https://www.digitaltrends.com/cool-tech/glass-battery-technology/
 

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Are plates not transferable between vehicles of the same owner in CA. Our Volt has a plate on it that has been on 2 previous cars we’ve had.
Not typically. The plate is issued when the car is first registered. You can request to keep a plate number, but that rarely happens unless someone has a vanity plate.
 

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Not typically. The plate is issued when the car is first registered. You can request to keep a plate number, but that rarely happens unless someone has a vanity plate.
I guess that makes sense. When we got our volt, the plate on the car we got rid of still had 6 months on it and the cost was the same. So all we did was put off cost of the plate registration renewal 6 months. It was not a vanity plate but I figured why give the state more money at the time of purchase than necessary.


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Are plates not transferable between vehicles of the same owner in CA. Our Volt has a plate on it that has been on 2 previous cars we’ve had.


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We are spoiled here in Michigan and can transfer plates. We can renew our plates up to 6 months early because of all the snowbirds leaving for the winter for warmer weather. A neat money saving strategy I've learned is to renew my plate early before I turn in my wife's lease and then transfer the plate. Then my next year is at the cheaper rate of the older vehicle. It typically saves me about $80-$100 by doing that.

I also did the same when buying my Volt (transferred from my 9 year old Astra), and then got a new plate at a prorated rate for the remaining portion of the year for my Astra while I had it for sale by owner.

That's a scary looking fire. I've heard they are almost impossible to put out too.
 

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All that will put out a lipo fire is sand. Having dealt with a small (hobby) lipo fire, it worked, but I doubt any fire departments have a dump truck full of sand to dump on the fire.
 
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