Firefighters in Tainan City used an estimated 20 tons of water to fight a fire after a Tesla electric car caught fire following a crash in Tainan City last week, according to the Tainan City Fire Bureau.
Captain Chiu Yuan-ming (邱淵明) said that normally around three tons of water is required to extinguish an internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicle fire. However, much more water is required to extinguish an electric vehicle fire.
According to the traffic police investigation, the 43-year-old driver, named Lin, lost control of the Tesla on Section 1 of Wenxian Road in Rende District at around 8:30 pm Wednesday evening, July 7. The vehicle slammed into a residential building and caught fire.
Lin suffered broken limbs and lost consciousness after the crash, but fortunately was rescued from the vehicle before it was consumed by flames.
Lin was sent to a local hospital, but due to his critical condition, was transferred to Chengda Hospital for treatment in the intensive care unit.
Firefighters sprayed water on the burning Tesla for around one hour before the fire went out. A total of six firefighting vehicles and 13 personnel were dispatched to deal with the blaze.
The residents of the house were evacuated and firefighters used three water hoses to prevent the fire spreading to the building. The fire was finally under control at around 9:25 pm.
Captain Chiu said that according to foreign research, an average 75 tons of water are required to extinguish a Tesla electric car fire. This is due to the chemical reactions in the lithium batteries. While sales of electric vehicles around world have surged, many firefighters have not yet received sufficient training to deal with electric car fires, Chiu said.
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