Once again, after another accident, a Tesla car has caught on fire, bringing the total to three accidents in just the past six weeks. In each of the accidents, a Tesla Model S battery has been damaged, resulting in an electrical fire that destroys the vehicle.
These reports come just a short while after the Model S was named one of the safest cars to drive and scored a five out of five in most tests. Tesla's shares have fallen but some Model S owners are not worried about the fires, as they feel any car has the potential to catch on fire.
To Be Expected?
Cars catching on fire is nothing new and while an electric car may be safer all around, it still runs on electricity, which always has the potential to cause an electrical fire. Many are blaming the frequency of these reports on the fact that Model S cars are becoming more popular and, therefore, will be involved in more accidents.
Investors appear to be more concerned about these reports as Tesla's shares fell 7 percent to $139.77. As a whole, Tesla has been increasing in value and hit a high point of $194 earlier this year but has since fallen due to R&D costs and a shortage of its advanced batteries.
The latest accident near Nashville, Tennessee occurred after the car hit a tow hitch lying in the road. The impact caused damaged to the battery, sparking a fire. Once the driver realized what was going on, he pulled to the side of the road. The driver was not hurt. This accident was almost identical to one that occurred on October 1, in which a Model S caught fire after hitting debris in the road.
Tesla has assured drivers and investors that these accidents stemmed from the car hitting debris and not from internal issues with the Model S. So, as more Tesla vehicles make it onto the road, the rate of these accidents may continue to increase. However, Tesla will likely look into the design and location of its Model S batteries to see if they can be better protected from this type of damage.
Electric Cars On The Rise
Despite some setbacks -- such as the combusting cars -- Tesla has pushed the car market forward and has played a role in making electric cars more mainstream. Almost every major car manufacturer in the U.S. has decided to come out with electric cars.
The impact that gas cars have on the environment has been seen as so substantial, that numerous states are now putting in place regulations to ensure that more people transition to electric cars.
Analysts have repeatedly stated that Tesla can be credited with a large portion of the shift in the car market. Even though there have been setbacks, and regulations must change, electric cars are the future of the auto industry.
Posted: 2013-11-08 @ 12:34pm PT
Hitting a tow hitch with an ordinary car could very likely kill the driver. Nothing under there but some sheet metal. Pieces of metal spearing the car happens more often than you think. Just doesn't get the press.