Do Tesla Batteries Catch Fire – Complete Guide 2024

Tesla batteries catch fire, although it is rare. Like any lithium-ion battery, there is a risk of fire if the battery is damaged or overheats.

Chevrolet Bolt EV and Bolt EUV, two long-range battery-electric cars produced by General Motors, have been halted in production, reportedly due to the continuous scarcity of semiconductor chips. However, because of recent recalls connected to battery fires, dealers are now limited in what they can do with the two electric cars. so, Are Tesla Batteries Flammable?

Tesla batteries catch fire, although it is rare. Like any lithium-ion battery, there is a risk of fire if the battery is damaged or overheats. However, Tesla has implemented safety measures to prevent and mitigate the risk of fires, including a battery management system and a fire extinguishing system.

All 142,000 of the two Bolt models sold by GM since 2017 are included in the increased recall, including the 2022 versions now on dealer lots. It’s now waiting for replacement battery packs to arrive and fix several production issues.
tesla fires


Is There a Higher Incidence of Automobile Fires with Teslas?

However, even if EVs are far less likely than gas vehicles to catch fire, fire-fighters will still need adjustments. It’s understandable to worry about fire hazards associated with electric vehicles, especially in light of recent media coverage of incidents involving such vehicles. 

However, the reality is that electric automobiles are no more flammable than vehicles powered by traditional fuels. They are preferable from a safety standpoint.

CarCell dimension
Tesla Model S18650
Tesla Model 32170
Tesla Model X18650
Tesla Model Y2170
Caes Cells Dimension

‘’A Tesla was in flames after the car’s battery compartment “spontaneously” caught fire on a California highway.’’ – Says KTLA

Tesla’s seldom catch fire when they crash. In reality, a far higher proportion of vehicles powered by internal combustion engines catch fire following collisions or even sometimes ignite on their own due to flaws.

Is Tesla batteries fire resistant?

There are mitigating factors, such as the high number of reported Tesla fires. 

One occurred when a human accidentally over tightened a connection to an electrical source (the bolt was supposed to be machine-tightened).

As an example, consider a gunshot to the battery compartment. In other cases, the vehicles collided at such high speeds that it was impossible to predict the outcome.

Lithium-ion batteries and gasoline make fires in automobiles difficult to extinguish, although lithium-ion batteries are more advanced once they start going.

A gas leak in a combustion engine might cause a fierce fire or an explosion. Low-heat batteries like lithium-ion take their time burning. They are slow to begin moving and completely safe from explosions. It would help if you had plenty of time to escape unless you are incapacitated or confined.

Short circuits are the root cause of battery fires in EVs. Due to the high voltage involved, an electrical arc may form across broken connections in the internal battery pack harness. If cells are leaking, these arcs may ignite the combustible electrolyte. When temperatures rise, other cells burst as they grow. “Thermal runaway” describes this situation. In addition, if this is still happening, particularly if the arcing connection is not cut off, the fire might reignite, even hours or days later.

Panasonic manufactures the 18650 cells used in the Tesla Model S and Model X, although Tesla requested chemical changes, including a decrease in cobalt usage, to improve performance. Batteries that don’t have enough cobalt are more prone to catch fire because of its stabilizing effect.

Tesla Model S

The first Tesla Model S had an aluminum shield under the battery to prevent the battery from being punctured by rocks and other road debris. Early fire occurrences necessitated the replacement of this shield with a far more robust multi-layer shield made of titanium and tube constructions.

It lessens the likelihood of flames starting in road hazards but does not eliminate them. The battery pack of the Model S is intended to be protected from being crushed too severely in accidents. However, this only sometimes happens. Similar styling was used for the Model X.

Tesla Model 3

Because of the fires, Tesla has reportedly begun performing more rigorous testing on all of their battery pack designs, including those for the Powerwall, Powerpack, and Model 3 batteries. These tests reportedly include prolonged exposure to direct flame, aggressive puncture testing, and crushing.

The battery pack for the Model 3 was completely overhauled. Panasonic produces 2170 cells at Tesla’s facility, and the company has made substantial changes to the chemistry and design of the cells due to its partnership with Tesla. 

One of the changes is a significant decrease in the amount of cobalt used; however, this time around, it seems that graphene and other materials were used in place of cobalt to ensure the cell’s fire safety, resulting in a higher-performing cell that is less flammable than before (and cheaper, to boot!). It uses an unconventional battery harness design. With the cells packed closer together and the cooling ribbons securely in place, the batteries are protected from arcing, and the likelihood of thermal runaway is reduced.

High-strength plastic envelops the whole pack, creating a strong crash-resistance framework that also deforms in a manner that permits cells to travel away from the pack rather than be crushed. Even in extreme side/point crashes, the battery is protected by the chassis’s newly built battery mount region (like hitting a light pole on the side door at high speed). All the lessons gained from the fires in the Model S and the Model X were used in the development of the Model 3. 

And now look what happened! I am aware of only one fire insurance claim for a Model 3, and that one seems to have been a salvage from the California wildfires rather than an accident or flaw. Nearly as many Model 3 as Model S have been on the road for the last year and a half, yet there have been zero reported fires in any of them.

Further testing is required to determine whether or not the Model 3 is much safer against fire compared to the Model S and X. However, there is reason to hope that Model 3’s fire danger is far lower in addition to the fact that EVs are already safer against fire than internal combustion vehicles.

The battery density and charge times are still areas for improvement. At the very least, we need a battery with twice the energy density of current options and the ability to withstand the heat and other stresses imposed by rapid charging. That opens the door for electric vehicles with ranges of 500 miles or more and the ability to charge to 80% in less than 15 minutes. 

Using non-flammable electrolytes or even a solid metal that is not vulnerable to ignite from arcing or practically anything except severe heat is an advantage of certain promising prototype batteries now in development. Thus, even if the Model 3’s design improvements aren’t sufficient to avoid all battery fires, we can look forward to a future EV with a battery that includes no substantial, hazardous components. As a bonus, the range of that EV will likely increase by a factor of two, and its charging time will decrease by a factor of three.

What causes Tesla batteries to catch fire?

Like any lithium-ion battery, damage or overheating can cause a Tesla battery to catch fire. The battery contains flammable electrolyte liquid and a flammable solvent in the cell, which can ignite and cause a fire if the battery is punctured, crushed, or exposed to high temperatures. However, Tesla has implemented safety measures such as a battery management system and a fire extinguishing system to prevent and mitigate the risk of fires.

Reasons For Their Incendiary Actions

The severity of the collisions and ensuing flames affecting the high-end Tesla Model S have garnered a lot of attention this year. Fires have broken out in Indianapolis, Seattle, Tennessee, France, and Mexico City, with the most recent being in the latter.

What are the reasons? Fires in early Teslas were allegedly caused by road debris puncturing and scraping the underside of the lithium-ion battery pack, in addition to collisions. Due to the damage, the lithium in the battery pack was exposed, which triggered an exothermic reaction and eventually a fire. A titanium case protecting the battery pack was supposed to have eliminated this threat, making the chassis more robust in the face of heavy impact.

The Indianapolis collision happened on Illinois Avenue at the 16th Street junction around 1 a.m. on November 3. Those regulars to the convention centre may recognize this spot on Meridian, just north of the entry ramp to I-65.

In early December, the Indianapolis Police Department still had not completed its investigation and made its findings public. Several witnesses, however, informed the media that the Tesla was speeding down Illinois when it crashed into a tree.

Over 150 yards, the collision-strewn debris could be seen after the hit. According to footage from the scene, the collision tore apart the Tesla’s lithium-ion battery, sending pieces of individual battery cells flying in all directions and igniting to create exploding, projectile-like explosions.

Capacity3.4 Ah
Cell Energy12.4Wh
Nominal Voltage3.66 V
Volumetric Energy Density755 Wh/L
Gravimetric Energy Density254Wh/Kg
Internal resistance30m Ohm
Cell mass49g
Parameter & Specification

What Other Ways Does A Fire Using A Lithium-Ion Battery Vary From A Fire Involving Gasoline?

The time required to ignite is the primary distinction. When gasoline touches a spark or flame, a fire starts and spreads quickly over the surrounding area. 

What other differences exist between a fire caused by a lithium-ion battery and a fire caused by gasoline? It usually takes a while for a fire to become hot enough to ignite in a battery.

This hold-off is great news in several cases. It may buy time for those in a crashed automobile to get out of the car and away from any potential flames. However, it has its challenges. A motorist can be unaware of the damage to their battery, such as when they run over a piece of debris while driving. 

It may take up to 24 hours to completely extinguish a battery fire, and Tesla advises first responders of this possibility even when the fire is visible.

Fires in electric vehicles need water extinguishment. While it may seem simple, many fire departments now employ foam or dry chemicals to put out flames more than plain old water. Dry chemicals work well to extinguish common electrical fires but may not be effective against a fire caused by a car’s Lithium-ion battery.

Water is an effective method of fighting a fire caused by Lithium-ion batteries. But it doesn’t imply you should run back and forth like a sprinkler to put out the blaze. Instead, maintain a steady spray of water on the battery until it gives up the fight; this might take anywhere from two to thirty tonnes of water. Don’t open the battery either, since the contents contain high voltage. Most of the battery’s heat will be absorbed by these components.

Is It True That More Fires Occur in Specific Tesla Models?

You may choose among many Tesla models depending on your range, budget, preferred vehicle type, and electricity consumption. There are, however, a few things you should consider before purchasing an electric vehicle, just as before buying a Tesla. The most explosive designs are included.

Is it true that specific tesla models have more fires? The technology inside a Tesla is the same regardless of the Model. Reports suggest that the Tesla S is more explosive than previous models. Several vehicles caught fire while parked, according to reports. 

According to the company’s investigations, the blazes originated in one of the battery’s front-facing components. The firm also promised to enhance the battery’s heat-regulating mechanism to prevent future fires. There have been fire occurrences with other models, but the Model S has had more.

How To Use Your Car’s Battery Management System (BMS)

The electric vehicle’s battery is the single largest expense. Its useful life may be drastically reduced if it is not properly maintained, and is also a potential safety threat in some scenarios. To reduce the likelihood of fires in electric vehicles, drivers should get familiar with the BMS (BMS). It has five uses, the most important of which is protecting an electric vehicle’s battery pack from harm.

  • Manages the battery’s charge and discharge cycles. Because battery properties fluctuate over time, this is the most dangerous phase of battery life and requires constant management by the BMS.
  • Calculates the charge level at the moment. The percentage of the battery’s potential that can be used.
  • Finds out how well the battery is doing. The number of charging cycles, battery charging current, temperature, and other major parameters may impact battery health.


Despite Tesla’s years of criticism over fire safety, the incidence of fires has decreased lately. The business is actively seeking to reduce the likelihood of a fire occurring in a Tesla vehicle. As with any company, Tesla is vulnerable to fire and other disasters. Vehicle owners should put little faith in machines instead of having a level head in all situations.


Is there any record of a Tesla battery fire?

Metro Fire Department personnel have previously worked hard to extinguish fires caused by Tesla batteries. In June of 2022, a white Tesla started burning and wouldn’t stop in a junkyard in California.

Is the Tesla the safest vehicle ever made?

The findings showed that Model Y’s Adult Occupant Protection rating was 97%. The Safety Assist test scored 98 percent. Child Occupancy Rate at 87%.

Can you remember the last time a Tesla car went on fire?

Two Tesla’s caught fire in a garage in San Ramon, California, in December 2020, according to The Post. After an overnight charge, one of the Teslas caught fire and quickly spread to the other.

How often do Tesla batteries catch fire?

Tesla battery fires are extremely rare, with less than 0.01% of Tesla vehicles experiencing a fire. This is actually lower than the rate of fires for gasoline-powered vehicles.

Are Tesla batteries more likely to catch fire than other electric vehicles?

No, Tesla batteries are not more likely to catch fire than other electric vehicles. In fact, Tesla’s safety record is often cited as one of the reasons for its popularity and success in the electric vehicle market.

Posts Related to Electric Cars and Batteries

  1. MW x5 xdrive40e Tax Credit 2024
  2. Is it possible to claim another federal and state tax rebate for electric cars when switching from one to another?
  3. Why Do UK Owner Pay Road Tax who Drive Electric Cars?
  4. How is a Lithium Crisis Tied to an Inflation Reduction Act?

About Author

Bharat Suthar

I am principal creator of I like riding Electric Car, UTV in mountains and Terrain, Also I try to share all the real life experience here in the site.I am really dedicated to write about my experience. I love doing all the outdoor activity including riding electric car, dirt biking and hiking.

Recent Posts