The Norwegian owner of a Tesla Model S found an unexpected f(i)ringe benefit during a cold Friday afternoon when shortly after he had parked his luxury electric car at a supercharging station in Gjerstad, and left, he realized the car could serve as a very quick and efficient, if quite toxic, source of heating for the cold Scandinavian country, after the Model S spontaneously burst into flames.
Nobody was injured in the incident in which the Tesla unexpectedly started burning, at which point emergency services were alerted.
By the time firefighters arrived, the car was completely ablaze.
As Norway’s FVN reports, the fire department could not use water to extinguish the electric car fire, so it just let Tesla burn out completely while dousing it with foam and watching the luxury paperweight burn to a crisp.
FVN adds that the only way to extinguish electric car fire is by using water with a copper material. However, it is too costly for the Norwegian fire departments. There were more f(i)ringe benefits: according to firefighter, Steinar Olsen, it is dangerous to breathe the smoke from the fire because it has fluorine gas in it, and when an electric car burns down the toxic gases emitted are far more dangerous than those from a normal car.
It’s about time to end the charade that electric cars are a good alternative to cars that run on gasoline. After all, not even Henry Ford could make them work.
Rather, as Bryan wrote, the downfall of the Edison-Ford electric car came about because Ford demanded the use of Edison’s nickel-iron batteries in the car, and would have no other battery powering this car. Edison’s batteries, however, were found to have very high internal resistance and were thus incapable of powering an electric car under many circumstances. Heavier lead-acid batteries (which would have made the car too ponderous) were substituted behind Henry Ford’s back…
And the only reason for the existence of Tesla motors and cars like the Chevy Volt and Nissan Leaf is that the federal government is heavily subsidizing them.
The rise in the electric car industry is directly related billions of dollars in subsidies from the U.S. Department of Energy authorized by the 2009 stimulus bill, according to an investigative report by ProPublica.
Historically, the electric car industry has failed to be a profitable venture. However, it recently has experienced substantial gains thanks to legislative action, rather than market competition.
Despite growth seen since the passage of the stimulus in 2009, the electric car and electric car battery industry has been under performing the Obama administration’s expectations. Demand has not kept up with supply despite the rosy predictions.
The Scientific American noted: “In the short term, the worldwide capacity for making batteries far outruns the demand for electric cars. Market analysts expect a multi-year cull, starting as early as 2012, of the factories that can’t make the grade.”
According to Kathleen Hartnett White of the Texas Public Policy Foundation, total U.S. sales for the Nissan Leaf and the Chevy Volt in 2011 reached 17,345 vehicles out of more than 12 million vehicles sold. Even hybrid sales only amounted to two to three percent of U.S. sales further, indicating weak demand relative to the amount of firms in the market.
Government backed electric car and battery producers have seen trouble in recent months. More recently, lithium-ion battery manufacturer Ener1 announced it was filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. In 2009 the company received $118 million in stimulus funds, and later that year bailed out the Norwegian electric car maker THINK Global. Despite the help, THINK filed for bankruptcy last June.
17,345 cars out of more than 12 million sold. That’s 0.0001445%. The demand for electric cars just isn’t there.
Today’s entrants aren’t exactly sending consumers rushing to the electric car showroom. There are a couple of obvious reasons why:
A battery for a small vehicle like the Nissan Leaf can cost about $20,000 and still only put out a range of 80 miles on a good day (range is affected by hot and cold weather) before requiring a recharge that takes eight to 10 hours. Even then, those batteries may only last six to eight years, leaving consumers with a vehicle that has little resale value.
Home installation of a recharging unit costs between $900 and $2,100. And don’t forget workplace and retail recharging stations, which will be necessary.
The bottom line: plug-in electric vehicles simply do not make practical or economic sense.
People don’t want to buy these cars. They are expensive to buy and maintain, they aren’t as safe, and they just might burst into flames while charging. It’s time to stop the fires, save taxpayers billions, and avoid the embarrassment or getting mocked by that deer you ran into with your Smart car.