Clean Transport

Published on August 16th, 2013 | by Nicholas Brown


Tesla Model S Causes Power Blackout

August 16th, 2013 by  

A Tesla Model S unfortunately caused a power disruption in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, this week. The power blackout lasted a few hours. As you can see in the image below, the power blackout was caused by the Tesla Model S crashing into a power transmission pole, tearing down the wires.

I imagein some of  you may have initially thought the accident was due to charging. However, reports from power companies show that they are already well prepared for electric vehicles charging on the grid.

However, there was a bit of an issue with the crash. The emergency personnel were not accustomed to dealing with crashed electric vehicles. They had to check the Tesla Motors website for details on how to shut the vehicle down properly.

Tesla Model S accident scene in Murfreesboro, Tennessee.
Image Credit: WGNS Radio

You may also be wondering how well this highly acclaimed vehicle protected its passenger. Fortunately, she was unharmed. However, she was jailed for driving under the influence (DUI). She claimed that she was “messing with the radio” and that is why she crashed… not exactly a normal cause of a crash.

Check out our new 93-page EV report, based on over 2,000 surveys collected from EV drivers in 49 of 50 US states, 26 European countries, and 9 Canadian provinces.

Tags: , , , , ,

About the Author

writes on CleanTechnica, Gas2, Kleef&Co, and Green Building Elements. He has a keen interest in physics-intensive topics such as electricity generation, refrigeration and air conditioning technology, energy storage, and geography. His website is:

  • Adam Grant

    The sooner automated collision avoidance come to market, the better! Fortunately, electric cars will be easier to automate.

    • Bob_Wallace

      I’m betting that decreases in auto insurance will more than pay for the cost of installing these systems.

      $300 billion per year – cost of vehicle crashes in the US. Almost $1,000 per person per year.

      “All-told, each traffic fatality costs an average of $6 million dollars — everything from medical and emergency services to lost earnings. A traffic injury averages $126,000, and almost 33,000 people die every year on the nation’s roads.”$300b-a-year-aaa/

      • Adam Grant

        The insurance industry will drag their feet on lowering premiums, and will probably resort to the same kinds of shenanigans that the entrenched power producers are using to slow the adoption of renewable energy. The end result will be a radically smaller auto insurance industry.

        Ultimately, driverless vehicles will be moving around the very young, the very old, the intoxicated and the sick, running buses and taxis, and operating automated delivery vehicles that can drop off to automated drop boxes in front of people’s houses.

        All we all have to do is survive a few more years, and the roads will become radically safer for drivers and pedestrians alike.

        • Bob_Wallace

          At least some insurance companies lowered premiums for EV owners.

          Auto insurance is a competitive field. It’s a lot easier to shop for vehicle insurance than it has been for health insurance.

          I agree that auto insurance is likely to be a shrinking industry. The big costs right now are accidents and theft. With automated systems cutting crash costs and the ability of cars to deliver perps right to the police department parking lot….

  • Hallik

    She was browsing the internet on the 17 inch screen,, She was inattentive while driving.

    • Bob_Wallace

      “she was jailed for driving under the influence (DUI)”

      “She claimed that she was “messing with the radio””

      • Hallik

        ..and the “radio” is the 17 inch touch screen .. :=)

  • agelbert

    What an amazing car. I can see it is quite crashworthy and there was no fire.
    Musk knows how to build them!

    • Bob_Wallace

      We pretty much knew that getting rid of the ICE was going to make cars safer in head-on crashes. I’ve had an engine join me in the front seat, it’s not a pretty thing.

      What I found very interesting is how Tesla brought spaceship technology to the sides of the car.

      “Tesla achieved this outcome by nesting multiple deep aluminum extrusions
      in the side rail of the car that absorb the impact energy (a similar approach was used by the Apollo Lunar Lander) and transfer load to the rest of the vehicle. This causes the pole to be either sheared off or to stop the car before the pole hits an occupant.”

      • agelbert

        Amazing. That car makes my mouth water.

  • OmarSultan

    As the “#1 clean tech-focused website in the world” you would think you would not need such lame, link-bait titles, but I guess “drunk driver hits utility pole” lacks a certain panache.

  • beernotwar

    EV’s have finally arrived. No one will take a car seriously until it’s driven irresponsibly and smashed into something important.

    • agelbert

      Yep. You can count on word spreading from the police and emergency crew that handled this crash about how incredibly save this car is. As strange as this seems, it’s a great selling point to show a crashed car with no gas tank to burn or explode.

  • shecky vegas

    I guess this really does mean electric vehicles are becoming mainstream.

  • anti_banker

    Either drunk, or not aware of how powerful and electric vehicle can be!!!

  • Diego Delgado

    That’s an expensive DUI, I’m guessing around $200,000.

  • MorinMoss

    This is even sadder than the NHTSA crash test.

  • Marshall Harris

    It irritating that someone would have enough money to drive such a beautiful car but clearly not enough sense to drive it sober…

  • jonesey

    Yep, touch screens and driving do not mix.

    • Bob_Wallace

      In your desire to blame the touchscreen you chose to overlook the DUI part?

      • Matt

        Maybe the headline could be a little more misleading. I can see it now on FOX news. “As reported on a left leaning, hippy, green site Cleantechnica. A Tesla Model S causes a blackout for several hours in Tenn.” “Now people that was one EV; do you really want a million blackout?”

        • Clnnrg

          Agree, I think the author was trying to be cute with the title but I think it plays into the hands of the FOX idiots, who thrive on misinformation.

        • mds

          See, I told you EVs would cause major power problems on grid! 😉 Come on, it’s funny! Go for it Faux News!

      • Jouni Valkonen

        Alcohol may amplify the risk that unfamiliar touch screen poses. E.g. sober may just pull over to make sense with unfamiliar touch screen options, but drunk driver just ignores this risk and adjusts unfamiliar touch screen options while driving too fast.

        People when drunk often does not have good sense of the risks.

    • mds

      SHE said it was the touchscreen. YOU believed that? Seriously? Probably had nothing to do with the touchscreen! She was DRUNK! How dumb are you?

      No wait I have a good one. Dashboard radios and driving do not mix. Oh oh wait… I know… Dashboard driving controls and driving do not mix.

      Sorry, you’re probably a very reasonable person who didn’t think much before you wrote …but you really step in one here. I’ve had a touchscreen in my car since 2005. It’s less of a problem than other dash-board controls, especially if they’re in a car I’m not used to. She must have still been drunk when she spilled out that excuse. It just doesn’t get any lamer than that. Please think a little more next time.

      • agelbert

        Agreed. I had a friend that crashed a Mercedes back in the 1960s because (as he told me) he wasn’t paying attention and ran off the road, hitting a concrete barrier at an angle. My friend said the investigating police officer asked if some cigarette ashes had gotten into his eye and my friend jumped on that as his excuse.
        Mendacious explanations are way too common in those who wreck their cars. I stopped being friends with that fellow shortly thereafter.

  • Jouni Valkonen

    Nice, we have first accident that was directly caused by Tesla’s 17″ touch screen with Internet options! 😉

    • Ďakujem

      Whoops, you misspelled “Driving while drunk” as “Caused by Tesla’s touchscreen”. Silly you! I’ll bet you feel foolish now!

      • Jouni Valkonen

        Being drunk does not automatically mean that alcohol was the ultimate cause of the accident.

        • Ďakujem

          I agree; People should never, ever take responsibility for their actions – especially when there’s a company they can blame and/or sue.

        • Bob_Wallace

          It seems that we can attribute the wreck to driver FU.

          Drunk? Playing with the video screen? Drunk and playing with the video screen? Does it really matter?

    • Thatguy

      Y can change the radio station on the steering whel, what goes trough your head while making such a comment did you not think : “I better search first”. oh man..

      • Jouni Valkonen

        In this case particularly, she did not use that stearing wheel option, but she was playing with touch screen radio while driving (drunk).

Back to Top ↑