The fire torched a Tesla Model S in Norway last January, sparking an investigation from the manufacturer.
Now a Tesla Motors spokesman has revealed that the fire was caused by the car itself rather than the charging station. Even Sandvold Roland, a Tesla Motors spokesman in Norway, told Norwegian publication VG that the fire was an “isolated incident,” according to Fox News.
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Tesla Model S catches light in Norwegian parking lot
No one was injured in the blaze in Norway, but it certainly looked spectacular. A flaming car in a snow-covered parking lot will always grab the attention, and it was definitely a strange sight.
Apparently the blaze was caused by a short circuit in the electrical distribution box in the Model S. Roland said that Tesla will be rolling out a software update that will stop charging if a possible short circuit is detected.
The company says that the incident occurred after 35 million successful charging sessions, of which 2.5 million were undertaken at Supercharger stations. As a result Tesla maintains that charging its cars is safe and this was an isolated case.
Investigation reveals fire caused by Supercharger station
Tesla wrote to Autoblog on Friday confirming that “there was an isolated incident where a Model S caught fire due to a short circuit in an electrical distribution box in the vehicle while Supercharging. The Supercharger turned off once it detected the short circuit. No one was injured in the fire.”
An investigation into the fire took some time because the vehicle was almost completely burned. However investigations quickly revealed that the Supercharger station was not to blame. Firefighters extinguished the blaze using foam rather than water.
This is not the first fire that Tesla cars have suffered. In 2013 the company gained something of a reputation after a couple of vehicles caught fire after the battery packs were gouged by road debris, but since then the situation has improved.
Tesla safety record remains strong
When these incidents do occur Tesla goes to great lengths to point out that the safety record of electric vehicles is in fact far superior to that of conventional vehicles. According to the company there are thousands of gas-powered vehicles which have caught fire this year.
However the issue for Tesla is that incidents involving its cars tend to attract a whole lot more attention given the relative novelty of electric cars. While people may accept that gas-powered cars will catch fire every so often, the technology of electric vehicles is relatively uncommon and the public are more inclined to pay attention to horror stories.
Tesla continues to work to bring electric vehicles to the mass market. With that in mind the company is set to announce the launch of its affordable Model 3 sedan, with rumors swirling that the first glimpse of the new vehicle will come on March 31.
Previous cars have been pretty pricey but the new model will sell for as little as $35,000. It’s a huge step for the company and one which could define its future.
With the advent of the Model 3 we will be able to see how the company can bring electric vehicles to the wider public. Tesla currently has plenty of detractors who believe that the company is vastly overvalued, but the potential success of the Model 3 could silence the doubters and cement Tesla’s reputation.