Friday, 13 August 2021 19:14

Tesla Model X Involved in Fiery Texas Crash: What We Know So Far

Written by Joey Klender, Teslarati
Tesla Model X Involved in Fiery Texas Crash: What We Know So Far  Austin Fire Info/Twitter

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A Tesla Model X was involved in a fiery accident Aug. 11 in Tarrytown, near Austin, TX.

The vehicle was completely engulfed in flames when the Austin Fire Department arrived. The blaze was successfully put out after several minutes, but here is what is confirmed so far.


After Teslarati inquired with the Austin Fire Department’s Public Information Office, we were told the driver was underage. Additionally, a foreign substance was likely a contributor to the crash, although the Austin FD did not clarify the nature of the intoxication.


The driver was arrested for driving under the influence, a department spokesperson told us. CBS reported it was alcohol-related.


The speed of the Model X at the time of the crash is unknown. Teslarati did not immediately receive a comment from the Austin Police Department regarding this bit of information.


When electric vehicles catch fire, the common blame is the batteries. While lithium fires are strong and often unpredictable, this fire was no different than any other automotive fire. It just took more water to keep the situation under control.


Fire Chief Thaier Smith said some fires fueled by a battery pack could take 30 to 40 times the water to extinguish compared to a combustion engine fire.


Certain protocols are installed in some fire departments around the country for handling battery electric vehicle fires. The Austin FD is currently training its firefighters how to extinguish fires fueled by lithium battery cells, the chief told CBS.


According to a statement by the fire department’s spokesperson, the driver was not injured in the accident and was able to escape the vehicle before it caught fire.


The vehicle slammed into a traffic pole, dislodging the pole and knocking it into the street. The vehicle continued into a Shell gas station parking lot, where it hit a gas pump. The gas pump did contribute to the severity of the fire, the Austin FD rep told us.


Tesla and other EV fires are more widely reported than ICE vehicle fires. However, it should be noted Tesla’s statistics for 2020 showed one of the company’s cars is involved in a vehicle fire every 205 million miles traveled. A vehicle is involved in a fire every 19 million miles, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation.


We thank Teslarati for reprint permission.


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