icon bookmark-bicon bookmarkicon cameraicon checkicon chevron downicon chevron lefticon chevron righticon chevron upicon closeicon v-compressicon downloadicon editicon v-expandicon fbicon fileicon filtericon flag ruicon full chevron downicon full chevron lefticon full chevron righticon full chevron upicon gpicon insicon mailicon moveicon-musicicon mutedicon nomutedicon okicon v-pauseicon v-playicon searchicon shareicon sign inicon sign upicon stepbackicon stepforicon swipe downicon tagicon tagsicon tgicon trashicon twicon vkicon yticon wticon fm

Motorist in Austria has tried FOR MONTHS to scrap his Tesla after it was reduced to ash IN SECONDS after crashing (VIDEO)

Motorist in Austria has tried FOR MONTHS to scrap his Tesla after it was reduced to ash IN SECONDS after crashing (VIDEO)
A man in Austria saw his Tesla car totally incinerated in a road accident, in mere seconds. Now, the owner is desperately seeking to salvage it. Yet, no one seems willing to try and recycle the supposedly eco-friendly vehicle.

The electric car’s fiery demise – and what followed – shows that fossil-fuel-free vehicles still have a way to go before they become renewable and eco-friendly enough to drive us into a green future.

Dominik Freymuth, a German motorist, had been an enthusiastic supporter of a shift to electric vehicles. He willingly sold his diesel-powered Mercedes and “made a fully conscious choice in favor of Tesla’s electric car.” And he enjoyed his new vehicle “from the first minute” – until he crashed it into a tree in a minor road accident.

“In just ten seconds after I crashed at a speed of 60 km per hour, this thing was already engulfed in flames and [I] was just happy that someone who was driving by rescued [me] from a fiery death,” Freymuth, who was hospitalized with severe injuries following the accident in October, told RT Deutsch. “I am disappointed.”

Yet that was not the end of Dominik’s troubles. His car, having burned out almost completely, had to be cooled for about three days in a special container. Later, it was transported to a private parking lot and was virtually abandoned there for more than a month as literally no company in Austria was willing to scrap it, despite Freymuth's tireless efforts.

Also on rt.com Clean energy dream fuels a dirty mineral rush

The parking lot owner told Freymuth that “he was literally going round in circles as various agencies simply were sending him off to one another.” Eventually, it turned out that Tesla had signed a contract with a certain Austrian company to salvage its cars in Austria – but that firm was still lacking the necessary license from the Austrian government.

Power source from hell

Freymuth had to go through all this for one reason: his ‘eco-friendly’ car’s electric motor ran on a lithium-ion battery. Developed in the late 20th century, these batteries are now commonly used in various portable gadgets like smartphones – and in electric vehicles.

The problem with these batteries is that, if damaged, crushed or overcharged, they can catch fire and it’s almost impossible to extinguish because it basically needs no oxygen to burn. Besides, metallic lithium used in these batteries actively reacts with water and, when doused with it, could take oxygen from it, producing flammable hydrogen, which could make things even worse, Christian Kljna, a member of the Austrian motorists’ association ÖAMTC, told RT Deutsch.

This lithium cannot be extinguished with water. It continues to burn underwater, and if one tries to extinguish it with water it takes oxygen from that water. It simply burns until it is burnt to the ground.

As if this were not enough, damaged lithium batteries can potentially combust at any moment while waiting to be properly salvaged. This makes salvaging them immensely difficult, although there are technologies that allow recycling from 25 to 96 percent of materials used in a lithium-ion battery cell.

Tesla's accident record also shows that its electric cars are far from perfectly safe. They caught fire on more than a dozen occasions since 2013. The causes of these incidents, which sometimes saw the cars incinerated in mere moments and led to several people dying a horrific death in flames, range from road accidents to spontaneous self-combustion.

No more electric cars

Eventually, Tesla's own specialists agreed to scrap Freymuth's unfortunate vehicle. Yet, they still need to wait for an approval from the Austrian authorities to proceed with the recycling and it appears that Freymuth has to wait a while more before his car is finally salvaged.

After going through all these troubles, the Austrian motorist firmly believes an electric car is not worth it and says he will never buy one again. “Now, I see electric cars in an absolutely negative way,” he told RT.

As long as there are other cars on the market, electric cars simply do not exist for me.

Like this story? Share it with a friend!

Podcasts