Reports out of Norway are indicating a 2014 Tesla Model S caught fire while charging up at a supercharger station. An NRK report said (via Google Translate) that no one was in the car when it caught fire, and that the fire occurred sometime after the owner of the car set the car up for charging and left. The police are currently investigating the blaze, the report said, and so far there’s no explanation as to why the car caught fire.
You can’t put out an electric vehicle fire with water, as water reacts with the lithium and can actually make things worse. So the fire department in Norway had to seal off the area and spray the car with a special foam.
In response to the incident, Tesla told NRK that the company will do extensive research in an attempt to find out what caused the blaze, and emphasized that it’s not dangerous to use its quick-charging stations anywhere on the globe, including in Norway. The supercharger station in question is the only one known to exist along the E18 Aust-Agder, so now Tesla owners there will have to travel a bit farther to find the nearest station for charging.
Previous Model S fires have been attributed to a puncture in the chassis and the battery back, which caused Tesla to then reinforce every single Model S with a titanium underbody shield, as well as issue a firmware update to raise the car slightly while it travels at higher speeds.
Any car fire is disturbing, but for some reason when it involves the Tesla Model S, people tend to freak out — which is why we urge caution here. Sure, the Model S lacks the usual reason for car fires, which is gasoline. It’s also tempting to worry about the massive lithium ion battery pack underneath the car for the reasons noted above, and there aren’t *that* many of these cars on the road yet. At the same time, all kinds of things can cause a car to catch fire, and while it may seem like the Model S is prone to them, we only know of four actual fires (this new one, the original battery puncture, a third that crashed into a tow hitch, and a fourth found unattended in a garage), despite tens of thousands of these cars on the road.
Finally, putting aside the fire for a moment, there’s also some good news for Tesla as well: It announced that it delivered 17,192 Model S vehicles in Q4, setting a delivery record for the company, along with the first 208 Model Xes. Tesla also shipped 50,580 cars in 2015, the first time the company has crossed the 50,000 mark in a single year.
Source: Extreme Tech