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Firefighters work 16 hours to put out fires in Tesla Model S

59 and 69-year-old men dead after self-driving Tesla crash
https://abc13.com/2-killed-in-fiery-tesla-crash-that-took-4-...
The batteries on board the Tesla continued to ignite despite efforts to douse the flames, authorities said. It reportedly took around four hours and more than 30,000 gallons of water before firefighters decided to let the fire burn itself out.

DB2
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I blame it all on the NRA.

Well, I'd save some blame for the likes of Sarah Palin
(Drill Baby Drill while reality show cynically shooting for the cameras)
and her ilk,
tools of Putin and short termist $$$ including NRA.


david fb
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The letter says the bullet was fired from inside the passenger cabin.

So I blame to vehicle owner and/or his passenger(s). NRA is secondary to idiot owner in this case, IMO.
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Firefighters work 16 hours to put out fires in Tesla Model S
https://abcnews.go.com/beta-story-container/Technology/tesla...
A Tesla Model S ignited three times in one day, a northern California car owner and firefighters told ABC News. While driving on a highway on Dec. 18, the driver got a tire pressure warning indicating a flat tire, and had the car towed to the nearby Los Gatos Tire and Auto Repair....

The owner turned around to see the car on fire, and firefighters were called to the scene....“We extinguished the initial fire very quickly,” Murphy said. Shortly afterwards, the firefighters saw gas and steam coming off the car - which began venting gas, which Murphy said they believed was a sign of batteries burning....

At 10 p.m., the car was moved to nearby tow yard, where it then reignited, Murphy said. The third fire was contained to the car, and did not spread. Firefighters spent nearly ten hours at the scene to ensure the battery would not ignite again.

DB2
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Due to the love of guns... doomed, it seems, unless they come up with better bullet resistance for battery packs.

Any idea what happens when you fire a bullet through a tank full of gasoline?
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Any idea what happens when you fire a bullet through a tank full of gasoline?

Pretty much nothing.

Movies that routinely depict bullets detonating a gasoline tank in a car are fake.
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Lithium is the most chemically active metal. More than sodium. Reacts with water, to release hydrogen and lithium oxide. The hydrogen then burns. Lithium is potent stuff. Boeing uses lithium batteries in its satellites. The batteries are used at full strength in some tests. The satellite is enclosed in an anechoic chamber for testing. Employees are warned (And there are sign in the anechoic chambers) that in event of a fire GET OUT! because the doors will close and a deluge system will be activated. You will either be burned or drowned. Boeing tales lithium fires seriously.

CNC
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Correct, sano. Most of the time nothing will happen.

Gasoline doesn't actually burn well. The fumes do, but the liquid itself not so much. Which is why it's vaporized before the spark plug can ignite it.

I suppose it is possible a spark from the bullet's passage could ignite the fumes in the tank. Not certain if there would be enough oxygen to feed the fire, though. So it still might do nothing.
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Gasoline doesn't actually burn well. The fumes do, but the liquid itself not so much.

Not to be argumentative in this thread, but gas burns really well. I've watched several boats become fully engulfed in seconds when a trickle of gas runs through the limberholes from back to front.

I know this stuff by heart and have seen it happen several times: a line of gas ignites at about 30 feet per second..... a tablespoon of evaporated gas, when ignited, expands to equals about 50 barrels of volume. Owners hate it when told their boat has to be foamed when it's got gas in the bilge.

So, a boat fully engulfs quickly and if it has an enclosed cabin, the vapor in the cabin blows the cabin off the hull/deck joint.

Here's a Dana Point example we had fun with. The owner had installed automotive ignition components to save a buck, and that ignited the gas spilled in his bilge. Probably a 'Zona.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zhonALz9rlI
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I've watched several boats become fully engulfed in seconds when a trickle of gas runs through the limberholes from back to front.

Fumes, right? In fact, you said it yourself: "the vapor in the cabin". That's what burns. Potentially explosively.

There are several substances that do this. One interesting example is sawdust. Hold a match to a pile of it and nothing happens. Throw it up in the air with a source of ignition, and "boom". Gasoline is a liquid version of this same thing.

Of course, the gasoline is a continuing source of vapors/fumes, and so will continue to feed a fire until it has all evaporated.

A bullet through a gas tank is very unlikely to cause a fire or explosion.
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I've watched several boats become fully engulfed in seconds when a trickle of gas runs through the limberholes from back to front.

Fumes, right? In fact, you said it yourself: "the vapor in the cabin". That's what burns. Potentially explosively.


Fuel in bilge burns. Vapor in cabin or under deck or engine box explodes.
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Sorry. Gasoline does not burn. Here:

https://www.ecmag.com/section/safety/vapors

Gasoline itself doesn’t burn; it’s the vapors from the gas that burn. Gasoline is very volatile when changing from a liquid to a vapor at low temperatures.

It's the vapors. Like I said.
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It's the vapors. Like I said.

It’s academic. Angels dancing on a pinhead. Unless you want to argue that gasoline cars never catch on fire as a result of crashes or system malfunctions.
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The original premise was that a bullet would ignite a fuel tank. That is just Hollywood. Not realistic. On this sano and I agreed, but the primary reason is that gasoline doesn't burn (which he disagreed with).

Under other conditions, yes, a car can catch fire due to gasoline vapors. Like a spark from a battery, for example, after an accident.

Evidently a bullet can cause an EV to catch fire. That was Tesla's conclusion in this specific case. And puncturing Li batteries is known to be a bad thing. They store a lot of energy, and it comes out very aggressively when the packs are punctured.

Though new technologies are being developed wherein they are immune to physical damage, and not only won't catch fire but will also continue to provide power. Saw it on NOVA. Seriously cool, and hopefully will be deployed in the not-too-distant future.
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The original premise was that a bullet would ignite a fuel tank. That is just Hollywood. Not realistic.

Reality is, if you fire a bullet through a gas tank, gas will leak out, splash around and emit vapor in a hot electrical environment, and a number of conditions could then result in a fire. It’s advisable not to try it.

This discussion could only move beyond debating on the head of a pin, if we had statistics comparing the actual incidence of fires as a function of miles traveled over the past decade or so, for electric versus gas cars.

Journalists make a big deal of any electric battery fire, while ignoring gasoline car fires which are quite commonplace.
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Sorry. Gasoline does not burn.

Technically you are correct. The vapor from the flammable liquid is what burns... and in boats it's the material heated by the heat from the burning vapor that continues to burn after the accelerant is burned off. However, in the real world where we earned our HAZWOPER and HAZMAT certificates, we refer to flammable liquids because, once ignited, they freely burn or explode depending on the environment in which the substance is present.

Shall I advise the USCG and DOT to revise their classes immediately, that on your advise, Class B fires do not exist.
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It’s academic.

Thanks. I was going to say 'semantics," or get snarky "tell it to a buddhist priest" and link to that Vietnamese priest who self-immolated in the street with a can of gas.... but then I realized he may have used diesel... which also 'does not burn' ;-)
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Under other conditions, yes, a car can catch fire due to gasoline vapors.

You are such a physicist!
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This discussion could only move beyond debating on the head of a pin, if we had statistics comparing the actual incidence of fires as a function of miles traveled over the past decade or so, for electric versus gas cars.

Tesla quotes some numbers (and EVs win by a factor of 10), but most sources say there isn't enough data to make such a comparison yet. If they ever deploy those battery packs I mentioned previously, then EV fires could theoretically go to zero. ICEs are unlikely to ever match that (latest data I found said over 170K car fires in 2015).
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This is the way it can finally work -

https://phys.org/news/2018-06-army-nanogalvanic-aluminum-pow...

Not recharge, recycle. Each "battery" being aluminium and being processed back into that same aluminium at the smelter/refinery. Each battery being consumed in the car, replaced at the service station and shipped back to the smelter/refinery for recycling.
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Firefighters work 16 hours to put out fires in Tesla Model S

59 and 69-year-old men dead after self-driving Tesla crash
https://abc13.com/2-killed-in-fiery-tesla-crash-that-took-4-...
The batteries on board the Tesla continued to ignite despite efforts to douse the flames, authorities said. It reportedly took around four hours and more than 30,000 gallons of water before firefighters decided to let the fire burn itself out.

DB2
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Interesting the focus on that aspect. What grabbed my attention is that neither person was behind the wheel. One was in the passenger seat, and one in the back seat. Evidently they took the term "auto pilot" seriously, even though it is nowhere near ready for full-time autonomous driving.

I'm surprised Tesla hasn't been sued successfully (or maybe they have been??). It's really cool tech, and Tesla is far ahead of most, but it's still not ready and they shouldn't even hint that it is (from a legal standpoint...I'm sure their lawyers are not supportive of the name, for example).

Regarding batteries, if you get burning metal it's really tricky. I'm not sure even a Class D extinguisher could handle that. Water isn't going to do any good. The cells are exploding, releasing their energy, and possibly igniting the metal within.

There is some interesting work on batteries that not only won't explode, but you can cut them in half and they still work. Saw it on NOVA. If they can get the capacity up, those are a natural for BEVs.
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I'm surprised Tesla hasn't been sued successfully (or maybe they have been??). It's really cool tech, and Tesla is far ahead of most, but it's still not ready and they shouldn't even hint that it is (from a legal standpoint...I'm sure their lawyers are not supportive of the name, for example).

I'm not sure that there's much basis for a lawsuit. They haven't claimed that any of the cars have Full Self Driving capabilities yet (and perhaps this might make them even more cautious about when they turn that feature on). And I doubt they would be found liable for the fact that they're using "autopilot" accurately and some idiots don't bother to find out what "autopilot" really means in an aviation setting:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=93OfrUek-G4

Clip set up: protagonist Archer knocked out the bounty hunter trying to bring him back to the states, and when bounty hunter awakens, he is distressed to find out how long no one has been actively piloting the plain...and then explains what 'autopilot' actually means.

Albaby
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True, Tesla is not claiming full auto-mode is ready. In fact, they have a feature that is supposed to make sure hands are on the wheel (not sure what happened in this case). However, I thought the courts put a lot of weight on "what a reasonable person would understand" rather than (or in addition to) arcane technical or legal manuals/publications/documentation. No? I believe some EULAs have been overturned because of that (I remember reading about it several years ago...people just click "accept" without reading the 37 pages of fine print when installing software, for example).

1poorguy
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It's this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m9-cNNYb1Ik

Cut it, poke, whatever. It just keeps working. No fires, no explosions.
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However, I thought the courts put a lot of weight on "what a reasonable person would understand" rather than (or in addition to) arcane technical or legal manuals/publications/documentation. No?

I doubt they would disregard disclaimers and warnings altogether. And what does a reasonable person actually think autopilot means? The humorous point of the little clip is that "autopilot" doesn't mean that a plain knows how to land itself, or even to avoid obstacles. "Autopilot" just means maintaining course and altitude - not that the plane is flying itself and doesn't need a pilot. It's basically cruise control for planes.

However, I had forgotten that Tesla is still calling the souped up version of autopilot the "Full Self Driving" set of options - which can be far more confusing for consumers than "autopilot" should be. Not sure whether the Tesla at issue here came with the FSD option package.

Albaby
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I'm surprised Tesla hasn't been sued successfully (or maybe they have been??). It's really cool tech, and Tesla is far ahead of most, but it's still not ready and they shouldn't even hint that it is

I don't think they're ahead of many - except in overconfidence.

Bloomberg asked Urmson about Tesla's Autopilot technology—and particularly Elon Musk's claim that Tesla vehicles will soon be capable of operating as driverless taxis.

“It’s just not going to happen,” Urmson said. “It’s technically very impressive what they’ve done, but we were doing better in 2010.”


https://arstechnica.com/cars/2021/04/the-largest-independent...
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You deserve a Like just for responding to a 2.5 year-old post.

Beat of a different drummer...
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Cut it, poke, whatever. It just keeps working. No fires, no explosions.

Ah, yes, I remember now: it uses a solid polymer electrolyte. I was impressed when I first saw it. There's more at the guy's company - Ionic Materials - site: https://ionicmaterials.com/the-solution/

There, it's called a solid state battery:

Through Ionic Materials’ invention of a novel solid polymer electrolyte material that conducts ions at room temperature, we are on the verge of revolutionizing battery technology. A truly solid state battery is now possible. Significant improvements in battery safety, performance and cost are achievable with ionic conductivities that exceed those of traditional liquid systems over a wide range of temperatures.
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You deserve a Like just for responding to a 2.5 year-old post.

I often add a post on an old thread that covers the same topic; it makes it easier to find and to look at changes (or not) over time. For example, this thread on high speed rail was started a decade ago and is still going.
https://boards.fool.com/high-speed-rail-29674868.aspx?sort=w...
(It's still the California choo-choo to nowhere.)

DB2
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Interesting the focus on that aspect. What grabbed my attention is that neither person was behind the wheel. One was in the passenger seat, and one in the back seat. Evidently they took the term "auto pilot" seriously, even though it is nowhere near ready for full-time autonomous driving.

No, of course this didn't happen anything like the way it is being reported, as any Tesla driver could tell you. The most likely explanation by far for any mystery is that the news media has it all wrong.

From Musk's twitter feed: "Data logs recovered so far show Autopilot was not enabled & this car did not purchase FSD.

Moreover, standard Autopilot would require lane lines to turn on, which this street did not have."

FSD is the Full Self Driving software. So all the speculative BS is just BS. Par for the course with anything posted by DrBob.

Tesla regularly publishes safety reports with statistics showing that their cars are indeed the safest vehicles on the road, in actual use as well as in testing. And they catch fire rarely compared to ICE vehicles.

https://www.tesla.com/VehicleSafetyReport

As well, there are detailed instructions for first responders on how to deal with the cars when things do go wrong.

https://www.tesla.com/firstresponders

So what really happened? Anybody want to guess? Not many facts yet, beyond a crashed and burned car driven about a minute from home, and two dead guys.

-IGU-
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So all the speculative BS is just BS. Par for the course with anything posted by DrBob.

What I posted was:

"The batteries on board the Tesla continued to ignite despite efforts to douse the flames, authorities said. It reportedly took around four hours and more than 30,000 gallons of water before firefighters decided to let the fire burn itself out."

Are you saying that this is false?

DB2
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The batteries on board the Tesla continued to ignite despite efforts to douse the flames, authorities said. It reportedly took around four hours and more than 30,000 gallons of water before firefighters decided to let the fire burn itself out.

Firefighters work 16 hours to put out fires in Tesla Model S
https://abcnews.go.com/beta-story-container/Technology/tesla...
A Tesla Model S ignited three times in one day, a northern California car owner and firefighters told ABC News. While driving on a highway on Dec. 18, the driver got a tire pressure warning indicating a flat tire, and had the car towed to the nearby Los Gatos Tire and Auto Repair....

The owner turned around to see the car on fire, and firefighters were called to the scene....“We extinguished the initial fire very quickly,” Murphy said. Shortly afterwards, the firefighters saw gas and steam coming off the car - which began venting gas, which Murphy said they believed was a sign of batteries burning....

At 10 p.m., the car was moved to nearby tow yard, where it then reignited, Murphy said. The third fire was contained to the car, and did not spread. Firefighters spent nearly ten hours at the scene to ensure the battery would not ignite again.

DB2
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Moreover, standard Autopilot would require lane lines to turn on, which this street did not have.

This Tesla driver can get his autopilot to turn on for such a road:

https://twitter.com/LyftGyft/status/1383917552762384386
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This Tesla driver can get his autopilot to turn on for such a road

What this driver demonstrated is that there exists a road that his version of software gets fooled into thinking that it's okay to turn on autopilot. For the crash in question on this thread, this is irrelevant anyway, since the logs showed that autopilot wasn't enabled. Nobody is going to tell you that software never has any bugs. And even if you imagined that somehow autopilot got turned on, it doesn't go anywhere near the crash speed on those sorts of roads. From the damage to the car it was clearly a high speed crash, likely over 80 mph (my guess).

So, what do you think really happened? Anybody got anything other than that it's fun to pretend that things you don't understand are scary?

-IGU-
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Oh, yes, and as to the BS about the fire:
https://www.houstonchronicle.com/neighborhood/woodlands/arti...

Palmer Buck, fire chief for The Woodlands Township Fire Department, said the Tesla fire was an example of how “we need to keep up with technology” in regard to both rescuing people possibly trapped in the new electric vehicles or merely putting out possible fires from the vehicle’s intensive battery package.

Buck also said contrary to some reports in the media, the Tesla involved in the April 17 fire did not burn out of control for four hours.

He also said no one from the township’s fire department called Tesla asking for help with the blaze, noting that he is not aware of the company having such a service.

“With respect to the fire fight, unfortunately, those rumors grew out way of control. It did not take us four hours to put out the blaze. Our guys got there and put down the fire within two to three minutes, enough to see the vehicle had occupants,” Buck said of inaccurate claims the vehicle burned for hours. “After that, it was simply cooling the car as the batteries continued to have a chain reaction due to damage.”


Since it appears the reporting was completely wrong as to details, what actually happened? I mean, other than a race for the most clicks.

-IGU-
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Anything that hints at criticism of Tesla he says is false. You're not new around here, so you know that. He sees anti-Tesla conspiracies around every corner, and short-seller-hyping in every bush.

That said, I don't think you or I said anything about FSD. He may very well be correct about that. All I said was that preliminary reports say no one was behind the wheel, and you talked about batteries blazing.
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"The batteries on board the Tesla continued to ignite despite efforts to douse the flames, authorities said. It reportedly took around four hours and more than 30,000 gallons of water before firefighters decided to let the fire burn itself out."

I have worked in labs for much my life and have had lots of safety training. One thing we learned is lithium reacts with water to produce a prodigious amount of heat and hydrogen, a combination any zeppelin fans out there would know is not good. The preferred way to put out a fire involving lithium is with dry extinguishers that remove oxygen or are designed for burning metal.

You can put out a lithium fire with water, but you need a lot for a long time. Until you run out of lithium that can react with water. Not really efficient.

There are lots of youtube videos showing folks dropping lithium into water.
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In fact, they have a feature that is supposed to make sure hands are on the wheel (not sure what happened in this case).

Don't know about this specific case, but Tesla steering wheels are designed to warn the driver if their hands are not on the wheel. However third parties sell counterweights designed for Tesla steering wheels to defeat this safety feature. You can buy them on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/accessories-Counterweight-Autopilot-A...

Sometimes stupid people cause their own deaths.
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So what really happened? Anybody want to guess? Not many facts yet, beyond a crashed and burned car driven about a minute from home, and two dead guys.

Auditioning for the revival of the iconic MTV series 'Jackass'?

Jackass is an American reality comedy television series... featured a cast of nine carrying out stunts and pranks... It originally aired for three seasons on MTV between October 1, 2000 and February 3, 2002... It was controversial over its perceived indecency and encouragement of dangerous behavior.

Jackass 4
In a 2018 interview, Knoxville said that he is open to making a fourth Jackass film that may feature some new cast members, "just to bring some fresh blood into it." Paramount confirmed that a fourth Jackass film is set for production Filming commenced on December 14, 2020... release date of October 22, 2021.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jackass_(franchise)#Jackass_4_...

Well, they’ve already got the fresh blood in the can. The show will be hot as fire.
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So what really happened? Anybody want to guess? Not many facts yet, beyond a crashed and burned car driven about a minute from home, and two dead guys.

My neighbor had a model 3 dual motor. He took me for a spin in it and immediately showed me how it could accelerate. Scared the carp out of me.

I'm guessing same thing happened here. Tesla owner takes neighbor for a spin and tries to scare the carp out of him. Loses control, hits a tree, car bursts into flames, driver's door won't open, driver clambers into back seat, can't get door open, dies there.

My neighbor spun his model 3 into a lake a few months later. Teslas are awesome vehicles, but they can still be driven by idiots.
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Perhaps firefighters don't yet know about this (i.e. that they're dealing with lithium, a metal)? I learned that in the Navy. If lithium is burning, use at least a Class D extinguisher. Dumping water on it isn't really helpful. They may be approaching it like any other car fire, and it most certainly is NOT.

https://ohsonline.com/Articles/2004/08/The-ABCs-Ds-and-Ks-of...

A Class D fire extinguisher is used on combustible metals, such as magnesium, titanium, sodium, etc., which require an extinguishing medium that does not react with the burning metal. Extinguishers that are suitable for Class D fires should be identified by a five-point star containing the letter "D."
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Wow. I shouldn't be surprised, but I sort of am. On the one hand, clever. On the other hand, really dumb.

Sometimes stupid people cause their own deaths.

Very often. I think in the absence of predation it is probably on the top of the list of non-natural deaths.
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https://www.fire.tc.faa.gov/pdf/TC-13-53.pdf

The battery verification tests confirmed that aqueous agents were most effective for the prevention of thermal runaway propagation. For the lithium-ion cell chemistries tested, none of the handheld agents at their recommended application distances were able to prevent propagation. The lithium-metal battery tests revealed that, without suppression, the cells would propagate into thermal runaway. To stop propagation, 500 mL of the aqueous agents were sufficient.

CNC
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Better article

https://www.technocracy.news/electric-car-battery-fires-extr...

Safety experts say the only way to extinguish a lithium-ion battery inside a car is with thousands of gallons of water, much more than what it takes to stop a fire in a typical gasoline engine. The other option is to just let it burn itself out. “It’s such a difficult fire because it takes so much water to put out,” said Robert Taylor, fire marshal in Davie, Fla., where the crash occurred.

CNC
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No, of course this didn't happen anything like the way it is being reported, as any Tesla driver could tell you.

Well, here’s a Tesla driver who might differ:

A Tesla will operate without a person in the driver’s seat, Consumer Reports finds

Consumer Reports found a Tesla Model Y crossover would operate in Autopilot mode without a driver after attaching a weight to the steering wheel to trick a sensor Tesla uses for driver monitoring. Tesla seats also have weight sensors that cars use for seat-belt and air-bag warnings, Consumer Reports noted, but they are not used to block the use of Autopilot if a driver is not present.?

The group managed to activate Autopilot without a driver on a closed track and travel at speeds up to 30 mph, it said. Consumer Reports urged people not to repeat the experiment for themselves, citing the extreme danger of doing so on a public road

https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2021/04/22/tesla-a...
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No, of course this didn't happen anything like the way it is being reported, as any Tesla driver could tell you.

Well, here’s a Tesla driver who might differ:

Consumer Reports found a Tesla Model Y crossover would operate in Autopilot mode without a driver...


CR, in amidst their torrent of irrelevant clickbait, admits exactly what I said. The Texas crash didn't and couldn't have happened anything like the way it was (and is still) being reported. As Autopilot wasn't involved, the entire CR exercise had no relevance to the Texas crash. And despite their desperate attempts to bow to the east, hold their mouth funny, and close their eyes and hum, they couldn't get their Model Y to do anything that was anything like what happened in Texas. Which, by the way happened to a much older Model S with different hardware, making their testing even more irrelevant.

And as I said, any Tesla driver could tell you it couldn't happen as reported. If nothing else, even if somehow miraculously Autopilot was on without leaving a trace, it can't cause a vehicle to accelerate to high speed the way that car did. That was without doubt done by a person.

This entire debacle has no truth to it other than there being two dead guys who got that way by crashing and burning their Tesla. The real mystery is how there seem to have been no other car crashes or deaths or fires on that particular day.

-IGU-
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