A Tesla Model S caught fire at a supercharging station in the town of Gjerstad in southern Norway on Friday. Norwegian authorities are investigating the cause that led to the incident, reported Norwegian broadcaster NRK (via Google Translate).
Tesla to investigate the incident
The Tesla Model S is shown burning in images and video, and no injuries were reported. Since extinguishing electric vehicles with water is a difficult task, special foam was used by firemen to control the flames, NRK reported.
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NRK learned from police spokesman Jon Kvitne that investigators are trying to find out what actually led to the accident, and for this they will analyze the charred wreck and the charging station. NRK also got a statement from Tesla, which said it will investigate the incident and that its charging stations in Norway are safe to use.
The supercharger station at which the inciident took place is the only one that exists along the E18 Aust-Agder, so now Tesla owners will have to travel a bit far to find the nearest charging station.
Fire problem not new
Tesla Model S owners can use the company’s superchargers free of cost, and it takes just 30 minutes to charge the battery to about 80% capacity. Once the car reaches the 80% charge level, the current is reduced. This incident marks the fifth documented case of a Model S catching fire due to accident or charging since the car went on sale in 2012.
After a string of incidents in 2013, Tesla raised the suspension of its vehicles at highway speed and installed a titanium triple layer under the body shield. In all the previous cases, Tesla provided the owners with a new Model S. So it will be interesting to see how the U.S. firm compensates the owner this time.
Tesla’s technologies — its disruptive technology and massive lithium-ion battery packs — are relatively new, therefore, they get more scrutiny. Also vehicles with internal combustion engines are more prone to catching fire. According to the National Fire Protection Association, an estimated 17 automobile fires per hour take place on average in the U.S.
On Monday, Tesla shares closed down 6.92% at $223.41. In 2015, the stock was up by almost 2%, while in the last one month, it is down by over 3%.