This is what spontaneous combustion looks like.
Every now and then, we hear about an electric vehicle spontaneously bursting into flames for no apparent reason. The likely culprit is an overheated lithium-ion battery. Nevertheless, it's still a very serious matter and it's just happened again, this time to a Tesla Model S. A Twitter user going by the username of "Jay in Shanghai" posted a video of the luxury electric sedan parked in the underground garage of the world's second tallest building, Shanghai Tower.
Suddenly, it begins to smoke and then boom! A bright flash of orange comes next. The fire immediately encases the entire vehicle and it looks like it even spreads to the parked Audi next to it. Poor Audi.
The footage you're seeing originally came from a security camera and judging by what we can make out, the fire appears to have started around the battery pack, which is located at the bottom center of the vehicle. The fire completely cooked the Tesla as well as the Audi and other vehicles parked nearby. The Twitter poster also reached out to Tesla's local Chinese division seeking comment. "After learning about the incident in Shanghai, we dispatched a team to the scene last night as soon as possible. We are actively liaising with the relevant departments and cooperating with the verification of the situation. According to the current information, there were no casualties."
Honestly, it's very strange this has happened. Typically, an electric vehicle – or even an internal combustion engine vehicle – ignites following a crash. There is nothing to indicate this specific Model S was involved in an accident prior to the fire. Another possibility – and this is purely speculation on our part – is arson. While it may initially appear to be a battery fire, it's possible something was placed under the car that exploded. We honestly just don't know at this point in time. It's still a potentially very serious situation that could affect thousands of Tesla owners throughout the world. We'll keep you posted with any updates.