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Is Tesla Driving Us Mad? A Burning Question

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On: Fri, Nov 8, 2013 at 3:08PM | By: Karen Cook


Is Tesla Driving Us Mad? A Burning Question

Nikola Tesla was a Serbian-American who lived from 1856 to 1946. He was an electrical engineer, mechanical engineer, and physicist. He was considered a “mad scientist” by the main populace of the time. He had astonishing ideas and managed to make quite a few of them work. He worked with Thomas Edison for a while and we have them to thank for quite a bit of our modern technology. Tesla’s name is now fittingly attached to an electric car company. Unfortunately it seems that this manufacturer is living up to the “mad scientist” legacy.

Recently the news has reported that two Tesla Model S cars have caught fire after a collision, and this week a third followed suit. The causes are all the same. Debris from the road damages the battery and sparks the fire.

Tesla produced the first all-electric sports car back in 2006. The Roadster was equipped with an AC motor directly based on Mr. Tesla’s original design. It was the first production vehicle to use lithium-ion battery cells and to have a range of more than 200 miles per charge. The Roadster made the cover of Time magazine in December of that year and was received the Best Inventions award for 2006. The car sold out in the first three weeks after being released.

Information about the Model S was released in 2008, but it wasn’t put into production until June 2012. That year 2,650 were sold with another 4,900 in the first quarter of 2013. Last August the Model S was given the highest safety rating possible by the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration).

Last June Tesla found a problem with the seat-latch mounting bracket in the Model S during routine testing and issued a voluntary recall. No customer reported a problem and there were no accidents or injuries caused by this defect.

Tesla works with other car manufacturers and provides battery for electric vehicles produced by Mercedes, Toyota, and Smart Cars. There have been no recalls or fires connected to these cars or their batteries. Although Tesla has made the news several times in the last few weeks, it must be acknowledged that no one has been injured from these fires due to the structure of the battery compartment which provides a barrier for the interior and protects passengers. Also, according to Tesla, the combustion potential of its electric engines is only about 1% of a comparable gas-powered sedan.




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