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Tesla Model S caught fire and burned down while charging at a Supercharger [Gallery]

Model S burned down norway

A Tesla Model S caught fire while plugged-in at a Supercharger in Norway, and almost completely burned down to nothing. The event happened at 14.30 Friday afternoon (local time) at a Tesla fast-charging station in Gjerstad, Norway

The picture you see above was taken about an hour after the fire started. Local fire department reported that they couldn’t do much, they are told not to use water to try to extinguish a battery fire and therefore they pretty much let it burned down, which led to the state of the vehicle you can see below.

Fortunately, no one was in the car when it caught on fire. The cause of the fire is not known at the moment, but Tesla is reportedly already investigating the case and we will update if we know more.

Update –  A Tesla spokesperson sent us the following statement:

“Nobody was harmed. We are undergoing a full investigation and will share our findings as soon as possible.”

As far as we know, this is the first reported instance of a Model S catching fire while charging at a Supercharger. There has been a few instances of Model S’s catching fire before, but after hitting objects on the road at high-speed, which is not uncommon for any type of car.

Gallery of picture via

 Featured image: Rune Hagestrand via

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  1. skybits - 7 years ago

    The complete electrical system at the charger side needs to be analyzed here. Obviously there was no breaker type of system to stop the charge if something went wrong, so then the higher current set the battery on fire. Maybe add a sensor to the battery and to the charging station to synchronize at a specific current that will not accept anything higher for example. In another instance a man was killed who was installing a charging station. No current should be at a charging station while it is being built. There should be a shutoff setup by the electric company at a point before and after a charging station for obvious safety reason. This is 2016 now. There should be enough information available by now to use when analyzing and designing how the charging stations will work, and to eliminate possible problems from building them to using them. The engineers know how high the current is in those stations. It’s really just based on common sense. These problems should not happen.

    • František Kubiš Jr. - 7 years ago

      of course there already are such sensors and DC charging station is talking with the car and agrees on specific current!! Learn something about the topic before making such nonsense claims…

      • skybits - 7 years ago

        If they did their job then this would not have happened, so obviously my comment has value. There was a fire here that could also happen inside of a house where a charging station is setup. I’m right on the money on this one. If those things exist then I obviously am right about it and it needs to be looked at in order to prevent this type of problem. More sensors and/or breakers on the battery and the charging station side obviously need more attention. I’m not talking about inside of the car. I’m only talking about the physical battery side and the charging station side connected to the electric company side of communications where it would not matter what device/car it would be charging. When it comes to current you need to start at the physical level first when analyzing this type of problem, and then expand from there. Current causing a fire is at the physical level of this problem. You are talking about things at a higher level past this problem. First you have to care about the current, and then go from there, no matter where the current is going or how it is used. That is true from building the charging stations to using them.

  2. skybits - 7 years ago

    I saw a commercial where the electric car was parked inside of the garage with the charging station inside of the garage next to the door that goes inside of the house. The woman and kids got out of the car and then she put the charger onto the car. If anything goes wrong in those situations the house would burn down. This is a serious problem if those charging stations are going to go inside of a garage like that. Please create a sensor and breaker system to help prevent such problems.

    • J-P Thivierge Qc,Ca - 7 years ago

      Everybody should know that a home charger inside a home is about the same power as a house hold dryer 240 VAC at 30 Amps. The elctric car is equipe with safety BMS and power control moduleto cut the power if the current goes over 30 A.
      Tersla is equiped with very compl∂te monitoring system and can be recharge at 50 Kw to 120 Kw at 400 V DC .
      The only thing that I can suspect is that car was usualy charged on a home charger à less than 10 Kw
      and this time the Tesla owner decided to use a Supercharger and probably the high power contacts in the plug were oxyded ans try to pass more than 100 Amps heated the contacts this strarted a thermal runaway in plug . Since the charger never went over 125 A for 50 Kw charger or 300 A for a 120 Kw and in the car monitoring the voltage was within the stadard the system did not disconecte until to late when the temperature into de connecting plug melted the plastic and set the fire in that conpartment and them to the rest of the car.
      To my many years in electric contact research it is a way to investigate.. “contact resistance thermal runaway “

  3. BEP - 7 years ago

    This is a good occasion to buy some Tesla stock.

    On a side note, I agree with František Kubiš Jr. that skybits has no idea what he’s talking about.

    • skybits - 7 years ago

      Don’t call me a he! Thank you. If I don’t know what I’m talking about then, YOU specify with details, what the problem is, that is, IF you know what you are talking about. It’s funny how you can insult, but at the same time not provide any information at all about what caused the fire. If the current/amps are not controlled, they will follow the path of least resistance, of which is why you have breakers in the path in order to cut off any fire hazard that it can cause.

      • BEP - 7 years ago

        How can you think there are not already circuit breakers and other advanced protection systems?
        It’s like if a car crashed against a wall and you said “if the car had had brakes, it wouldn’t have crashed into the wall”.

      • WalksOnDirt - 7 years ago

        Ok, ok.

        Skybits has no idea what it’s talking about. Better?

      • František Kubiš Jr. - 7 years ago

        You don’t know what you are talking about… The car has several switches. One controls the current flowing from SuperCharger to the battery. Second is inside in the battery to protect battery itself.
        And finally there has to be breaker at the charging station side before AC/DC switching. And all of that is controlled by SW to manage the safe current. You don’t even know if it was current related! That is only your speculation! Obviously something gone seriosly wrong and until Tesla provides us with more information we can only speculate. Maybe it was temperature related, manufacturing defect, or milion other causes… At this point we can only speculate.

        So again, please learn something about the topic before making such nonsense claims…

      • chex - 7 years ago

        Tesla and all it’s engineers, designers, QA, Elon himself never thought of a breaker. It was so simple to find the root cause, they should have asked Skybits from the beginning. “It just needs more work at the breakers thingy, like the ones at home”.

        Skybits has no idea what she’s talking about.

  4. Steven - 7 years ago

    Please, how many ICE cars catch fire at gas stations per year around the world?

    • BEP - 7 years ago

      Not only cars and bikes, even people catch fire at gas stations… nevertheless, I expect a lot of media attention on this accident.

      • skybits - 7 years ago

        Fumes catch fire at gas stations, of which is why you should never smoke near the pumps. That has nothing to do with current/amps at a charging station such as here. When dealing with current you need breakers to stop it before it causes a fire, such as what your breaker box does inside of your house. These charging stations need more work within the design in order to prevent fires like this.

    • Nathanael - 7 years ago

      An average of 17 gasoline cars catch fire per HOUR…. in the US alone.

      That’s about 1 fire for every 20 million miles driven.
      Tesla has had less than 1 fire for every 100 million miles driven.

      Gasoline cars catch fire in garages and burn houses down quite routinely, too.

  5. alan dean foster - 7 years ago

    1) CPO (used) vehicle. Owner had it for two days
    2) Temporary supercharger
    3) Non-stock wheels. Other possible modifications?
    4) Car burned at charger. Doesn’t mean charger burned car. What was inside car? Why didn’t the tires burn?
    Lots of questions to answer here.

  6. Paul liu - 7 years ago

    The trouble is that you will not know which battery is already fully charged in series connection while charging is on the go.

  7. Dougas Cat - 7 years ago

    This cannot be good for teslas image.

  8. IamIan - 7 years ago

    Whatever the cause .. It’s important to keep relative significance in mind .. ie is this a high or a low rate of vehicle fires at refilling stations .. 2004 to 2008 the U.S. averaged 5,020 per year fires at gas stations 61% ( or 3,062) of those were vehicle fires .. From ~117,000 gas stations in the US .. or roughly speaking on average each of those years roughly 1 out of every ~38 gas stations had a vehicle catch fire .. with 585 super charger stations in the US alone and only 1 vehicle fire .. ie .. 1 in 38 for Gasoline Stations .. vs … 1 in 585+ for Tesla Super Charger Stations.


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