The owner of another Tesla has died – horribly – in Davie, Florida after his car struck a tree and burst into flames.
It then burst into flames again – post mortem – while the carcass was being hauled away to the wrecking yard.
And then once more, at the wrecking yard. News story here.
Unlike other cars, Teslas remain dangerous even after they wreck.
And not just Teslas.
The danger applies to electric cars in general, because the lithium-ion battery packs which power many of them are susceptible to spontaneous combustion if the structure of the battery – its case – is physically damaged as the result of impact forces in a crash and thermal runaway occurs.
Remember those electric skateboards that burst into flame a couple of years ago, hope nobody here has one stored in the garage. Hope that garage isn’t attached to their house.
Lithium-ion battery fires are unusually toxic. They release poisonous gasses, including hydrogen fluoride. When this stuff comes into contact with moisture – such as is present on the surface of the human eyeball, for instance – it converts into hydrofluoric acid and that can cause rapid destruction of corneas, resulting in permanent blindness.
Breathing the stuff can cause death from cardiac arrhythmia and fluid build-up in the lungs.
Gasoline by comparison is safe and reliable. And when a gasoline fire is put out, it’s out.