Total your Tesla? It might be doing fine in Ukraine

New Teslas are becoming more and more common on North American roads, but they don’t stay new forever and some are victims of accidents. If you suffer more damage than is worth repairing, insurers could send it to a scrapyard.

But a junkyard might not want Teslas damaged either. It’s much harder to make money with the relatively few parts that go into electric vehicles than gasoline-powered ones, and there’s also an added risk that their batteries will spontaneously catch fire. So from a breakage, a damaged one You’re here could be shipped to an overseas buyer.

But where do these vehicles end up? These days, the answer may well be Ukraine. As Wired reportsThe war-torn nation has a thriving electric vehicle resurrection industry, even as it battles Russia.

Ivan Malakhovsky, owner of a repair company in Ukraine, told the publication that most Teslas driven in Ukraine have already been involved in wrecks in North America. And when an EV battery is damaged beyond repair, his team sometimes breaks its cells to reuse them in drones on the battlefield, or simply in electric scooters.

But electric vehicle batteries can pose dangers, as a high-end auto junkyard in Rancho Cordova, Calif., learned a few months ago when a Tesla Model S spontaneously caught fire after sitting unused During three months. The vehicle had been recovered “due to flooding from Florida”. Metro Sacramento Fire written the.

After Hurricane Ian hit Florida in September last year, the fact that salt water can cause electric vehicle batteries to catch fire later it received more attention. An EV battery ruptures in a collision can also catch fire.

“It is alarming that even after car fires are extinguished, they can reignite in an instant. » US Senator Rick Scott wrote to Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. “Unfortunately, some Florida homes that survived Hurricane Ian have now been destroyed by fires caused by flooded electric vehicles.”

Like the National Fire Protection Association Remarkselectric vehicle fires “are less common” than those in traditional vehicles, but are “a more complicated event, as electric vehicle fires can last longer and have the potential to cause an electrical shock and reignite.”

He adds: “the potential for fire risks associated with the lithium-ion batteries that power these means of transportation is real and often underestimated.”

At the Rancho Cordova junkyard, “the vehicle was sitting on its own with nothing else,” said Metro Fire Capt. Parker Wilbourn. told CBS13 News in Sacramento. “Nothing else could have triggered this.”

Like Metro Fire rated on– while tagging Tesla CEO Elon Musk – the Model S was “surrounded by millions of dollars of salvaged vehicles, including Ferraris, Lamborghinis and Bentleys.”

When request why he tagged Musk, firefighters replied“Vehicles that spontaneously combust after sitting for weeks or months present a new challenge to both our community and firefighting personnel. Fortunately, this vehicle was not inside a building.

Tesla, on its website, offers “Information for First Responders” page on how to manage fires for each of its models. For a Model S that catches fire, it says:

“There must be no fire, smoke, audible popping/hissing, or heating in the high voltage battery for at least 45 minutes before the vehicle can be released to second responders (such as law enforcement, trucking companies). vehicles, etc.)… Always Inform second responders that there is a risk of the battery reigniting.

In Ukraine, electric vehicle repair specialists like Malakhovsky appear willing to accept potential risks.

“We have problems in our lives and can solve them, whether it’s a battery or a full-scale invasion,” he said. “Electric cars, electric car batteries, it’s not a problem.”

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