Published on April 28th, 2016 | by Zachary Shahan


Ironically, Mercedes Bursts Into Flames In Crash With Tesla

April 28th, 2016 by  

One of the media-driven freakouts (or clickbait themes) for a while was the potential for Tesla battery packs to catch on fire. Yes, batteries can catch on fire, but so can tanks of gasoline. In fact, Tesla does a much better job of preventing fires and containing them if they happen via various safety measures. And now, unfortunately, there’s an image to capture the irony of the the media’s illogical “Tesla fire” hype.

It’s copyrighted, so I can’t share it, but you can check it out right here.

Steve Hanley of sister site Gas2 dug up these old stats from Elon back when Tesla fires were all the rage, to help point out how much safer Teslas are in such instances: “Elon Musk says that nationwide, vehicle fires occur once every 20 million miles driven. But the risk of a vehicle fire in a Tesla is 80% less — one per 100 million miles. That was back in 2013. Tesla has taken measures to reduce that risk even further since then.”

Overall, the Tesla Model S and Model X are by far the safest car and SUV ever mass-produced in the US. It’s hard to justify a non-Tesla in the large sedan or SUV category … and the thing is, why would you justify it? Greater safety, greater acceleration, continuous over-the-air improvements, one-pedal driving, a smooth and quiet ride, and free long-distance charging all come with a Tesla. What does the competition offer? Cupholders?

But hey, we each have our own priorities and preferences.


Owner Of Burnt Tesla Model S Wants Another

No Injuries In Tesla Model S Fire — Contained In Front Trunk

Tesla Model S Safety & Tesla Mission Published In Must-Read Blog From CEO/Founder Elon Musk

Story About How The Tesla Model S Deals With Extreme Damage & Communicates With The Driver

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.

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About the Author

is tryin' to help society help itself (and other species) with the power of the typed word. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director and chief editor, but he's also the president of Important Media and the director/founder of EV Obsession, Solar Love, and Bikocity. Zach is recognized globally as a solar energy, electric car, and energy storage expert. Zach has long-term investments in TSLA, FSLR, SPWR, SEDG, & ABB — after years of covering solar and EVs, he simply has a lot of faith in these particular companies and feels like they are good cleantech companies to invest in.

  • Kushari

    Not really ironic.

  • Peter Egan

    schadenfreude, schadenfreude, schadenfreude!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • MM

    Pity the self drive wasn’t on, probably could’ve avoided the crash altoghether

  • ROBwithaB

    “More information to follow”.
    Because that’s what happens if you only have 5 minutes.

  • ROBwithaB

    If we’re looking to apportion blame, it must be said that the road itself probably contributed significantly to this crash. I suspect that particular bend sees its fair share of “accidents”.
    I sorta imagined that one of the richest countries in the world would be able to cough up a bit more to build better roads.

    Plus yeah, there’s a car on fire. That happens a lot.

  • Love it: “Yes, batteries can catch on fire, but so can tanks of gasoline.” Great line, Zach!

  • nakedChimp

    IMHO – luckily no one was killed and the Tesla didn’t catch fire there. 😉

  • TomK

    “What does the competition offer? Cupholders?”
    Don’t forget the quick 5-minute fill-up. Because *everybody* drives 1,000 miles every day and *never* stops to stretch legs, relax a bit, eat, drink, and visit bathrooms.

  • That seems to be the same site. Not sure what the 5minutes thing is about.

    • nakedChimp

      The ‘5 minute thing’ must be the tile of a show/framework/news-anchor that wraps up the news of the day in 5 minutes of Radio Television Luxembourg.

  • Mike Shurtleff

    Yep, ya know vehicles carrying tanks of flammable liquid fuel are a tremendous fire hazard. Always been the case, so nobody will be interested. Go figure. 😉

    • neroden

      Gasoline is actually *designed* to explode. If it doesn’t explode, the engine doesn’t work and the car doesn’t move.

      Carrying around a flammable fluid which forms explosive vapors and is actually designed to blow up… seems a bit dangerous.

      My fiancee says: “You know how often gasoline cars catch on fire? *Every time they’re operating*”.

  • Freddy D


  • Marion Meads

    Great news that should be viral!

    “free long-distance charging” may not be available for the Tesla Model 3 though.

    • nakedChimp

      What happened to you?

  • jburt56


  • Mike333

    Perfect Title.

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