A Tesla car battery “spontaneously” burst into flames on a California freeway Saturday, and firefighters needed 6,000 gallons of water to put it out.

The Metro Fire Department said in a series of tweets that “nothing unusual” had occurred before the Tesla Model S became “engulfed in flames,” but the agency said the car’s battery cells “continued to combust” while the fire was being extinguished.

Crews arrived to a Tesla Model S engulfed in flames, nothing unusual prior. 2 Fire Engines, a water tender, and a ladder truck were requested to assist. Crews used jacks to access the underside to extinguish and cool the battery. Thousands of gallons were used in extinguishment. See more details from here.

The vehicle battery compartment spontaneously caught fire


No injuries were reported.

In 2021, the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) declined to open an investigation into Tesla car battery fires, calling them “rare events.”

A handful of studies have shown electric vehicles are less likely to catch fire than gasoline or hybrid-electric vehicles — but that when they do, they burn hotter and longer.

Battery fires are a problem for electric-vehicle makers, but exactly how serious is hard to assess. The newness of the cars leads to intense media focus on events in the industry, potentially making EV-related problems at Tesla or General Motors appear worse. What investors need is context.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk has previously said only 0.01% of Teslas have ever caught fire. That compares with an annual rate of 0.08% for all passenger and heavy-duty vehicles in a given year, according to NHTSA and the National Fire Protection Association.