Monday, October 19, 2015

What a Mysterious Car Fire Reveals About Electric Vehicle Technology

Tesla Model S. Photo courtesy of Tesla Motors.
Just over the weekend, a car at a Ken Garff dealership in Orem, Utah mysterious caught fire. It was given a little mention on the news here, with people wondering if someone was trying to vandalize vehicles on the lot. According to the news, the local police don't think it was a case of arson, and that's where the whole issue gets interesting.

Most people have probably forgotten how a few years ago when the Tesla Model S first launched, people were freaking out because a few of them caught fire. The electric cars were called unsafe and there was a witch hunt to "take down" Tesla Motors over the whole issue.

In case you can't tell, I'm of the opinion the whole thing was ridiculous, because it was. While I don't think that Tesla's shit doesn't stink, (there are too many out there who do) I also don't have an irrational fear or hatred of the company or its technology.

Had this car that mysteriously combusted been an electric vehicle, the news would have been splashing it everywhere and the public would've been in an uproar. Here in Utah, and in a lot of places, (unfortunately) too many people are still highly suspicious of electric cars. Sure, they'll plug in their own electric clothes dryer without a second thought -- they'll even swap out the plug without calling an electrician. But suggest that driving a car that's propelled by electric motors and you're obviously a communist.

What most people have become far too comfortable with is driving around in a vehicle that carries 20 gallons of highly combustible fluid. We humans can be a highly irrational bunch, and many of us fear change for illogical reasons. But this is human nature and it's creating an obstacle to shifting the automotive industry away from internal combustion engines. That shift is and will continue to happen, it's just a question of how quickly it will take place.

No comments:

Post a Comment