This video is not of an electric car explosion

This video is not of an electric car explosion

Network footage shows a series of violent explosions on a road near Chevanceaux (France). The attached message assures that it is the explosion of the battery of a high-end electric vehicle. It’s not true. The events happened in 2017 and what exploded was a gas tanker truck.

Several social media accounts posted a video recorded on a highway where you can see many very violent explosions while drivers of other vehicles observe the incident from a distance. The message that accompanies the video states that “this is a lithium battery from a high-end electric vehicle”. Another message we read on Twitter argues that: “Some electric cars burn spontaneously», and adds « Another convincing argument for not having a #climafakecar ». Another tweet says: “Those who have electric cars should be very aware”.

The video presented has nothing to do with an electric car. In reality, what we see corresponds to the accident of a truck loaded with gas cylinders which exploded on the RN10, near the town of Chevanceaux, in the department of Charente-Maritime (France) in 2017. By a reverse search we have verified that the video is not current. On YouTube and on the Tineye search engine, it appears for the first time in September 2017. There is another recording with another camera of the same incident visible on the YouTube channel of the Sud Ouest newspaper and on Facebook also dated September 2017. After the explosion, the services of the French department of Charente-Maritime published a tweet in which they informed users of the traffic restrictions following the incident. Below you can see the same sequence of the explosion correctly datedreporting the incident of a truck with gas cylinders.

Do electric cars burn?

The alleged lack of safety of electric cars and the possibility of their combustion has been a common topic of debate both on social networks and in specialized magazines. It is a constantly evolving technologye The conclusions on this type of risk are updated as new models arrive on the market. In the controversies on this subject, for example, the affair of a Tesla electric vehicle which burned for four hours in Los Angeles in March 2022 or the warning from the firm Chevrolet which admitted that its Bolt model had a fault in workmanship that may cause the car to burn out. The supply crisis hurt Chevrolet when it comes to repairing the breakdown, so it was forced to ask customers “not to leave your vehicle on charge indoors overnight”.

Despite these landmark cases, the American insurer AutoinsuranceEZ carried out a study based on official data concerning vehicles that had burned in the United States in 2020. According to this analysis, the likelihood of a fire after a collision is higher in gasoline-powered vehicles than in those that use an electric motor. Proportionally the most fires per 100,000 sales are occupied by hybrid vehicles (3,474), followed by petrol and diesel cars (1,529) and finally electric cars, with 25 fires per 100,000 sales.

Image detailing the total number of fires for each type of vehicle (hybrid, petrol and electric) Source: AutoinsuranceEZ

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