Third Tesla Fire Sends Shares Plummeting

by | Nov 12, 2013

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TeslaStocks in electric car company Tesla tumbled last week as news broke of a third Model S fire in less than two months.

The most recent electrical fire, which happened near Smyrne, Tenn., occurred after the driver ran over a trailer tow hitch that was in the road. Tesla share prices plummeted 9 percent on Nov. 7, Reuters reports.

A picture of the fire quickly appeared on the Tesla Motors Club website. The company said that it did not yet know if the fire involved the car’s battery. A highway patrol dispatcher described the damage as “extensive,” Reuters reports.

Earlier fires both occurred in October. In the first, a driver drove over a large meal object puncturing the armored plate designed to protect the battery. The second fire took place in Mexico when a driver lost control, crashing the car first through an embankment and then into a tree. The third fire could prompt calls for a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration investigation, reports Wired.

According to the publication there are an average of 150,000 car fires in the US each year, but there are only 19,000 Model S sedans on the road, so three fires in such a short space of time has raised eyebrows.

Furthermore, neither the Nissan Leaf EV or the Chevrolet Volt gas-electric hybrid, which both use the same lithium-ion battery chemistry as the Model S, have suffered fires, Wired reports.

Meanwhile Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk has been tapped by UK Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg to advise the British government on how it can boost the adoption of low-carbon vehicle.

Clegg touted Musk’s expertise and said as an advisor, the billionaire US entrepreneur and electric car CEO will “consider how we can boost investment, massively increase the take up of electric vehicles…and promote the benefits of ultra low-emission vehicles.”

Photo Credit: tommolog via Tesla Motors Club

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