Your guess is as good as anyone else’s about the make and model that this crumpled pile of slag was in its former life.
According to KELO-TV, fire and emergency medical personnel responded to a small car ablaze on Highway 50 near Vermillion, South Dakota on Thursday. The vehicle was completely engulfed with flames, which then spread into a nearby ditch.
The fire caused one lane of the highway to be closed down for an hour and a half, as firefighters were waiting for the flames — which had reached the high voltage battery — to diminish.
On its Facebook page the Vermillion Fire Department stated that personnel were on the scene for two hours and 17 minutes as the car cooled enough to be removed from the roadway.
The car was later towed away, and the fire is under investigation.
Cars have caught fire since the beginning of the automotive age. Sometime the damage can be repaired, often not.
But it’s rare for a vehicle to be reduced so thoroughly to aquarium gravel.
That is what happened to this electric car however. And increasingly, it is far from being a remote case.
While gas-powered vehicles still outnumber their electric brethren for catching fire, the sheer effort it takes to manage a battery-fueled blaze is substantially higher
Electric vehicle fires require up to 10,000 gallons of water to extinguish. That’s ten times how much water is typically required to put out a fire involving an internal combustion engine. It is an enormous amount of wasted water.
EV fires also produce hazardous materials, like hydrofluoric acid: a substance that can cause serious harm to bodily tissue.
It is increasingly being noted that battery-powered vehicles are in substantial risk from the local environment, as witnessed last month during Hurricane Ian. At least one electric car caught fire due to salt water corrosion of the battery. Owners of electric vehicles were instructed to have their cars and trucks towed away, rather than driving them off and risking a fire.
Fires are not unknown to stationary electric cars either. A Tesla in California recently erupted into flames after sitting idle for three weeks. Firefighters kept putting the flames out only to watch them burst forth again. The fire was finally extinguished after a prolonged effort.
As the Biden administration and green-obsessed state governments attempt to forcibly transition citizens to “emission-free” transportation, these will become far from isolated incidents. It is conceivable that over the course of the next decade, battery-powered cars and trucks will be the source of the vast majority of vehicle fires.
Factor in the practicality — or lack thereof — of electric vehicles, and it is clear that battery-powered cars and trucks are far from being ready for the open road.
Figure also, that electric vehicles all too often suffer from over-engineering, as this recent case demonstrates. Computerizing every facet of the car or truck’s design leaves too many potential problems that are going to be complicated in an emergency situation.
Yet these are the very cars and trucks that “progressives” are demanding that we purchase.
It is obvious that electric vehicles are not embraced by the overall population because they are not desirable. They lack the general safety and reliability of traditional gas and diesel powered transportation.
This is something that would better be settled in the free market. One day electric-powered vehicles may be feasible, as well as more affordable.
But that day is not here yet. And prospective electric buyers would do well to consider the photo of that melted mass on a South Dakota highway.