Imagine the heights of trying to prove a point or set a narrative towards the love-hate relationship with EVs. In a spectacular turn of events, AXA Insurance company group hosted an event to demonstrate how unsafe are EVs in general. The event was attended by around 500 people to watch Tesla Model S get caught on fire.
The giant insurance group wanted to support their in-house report on how EVs are the bad guys when it comes to collisions and damages. Moreover, stating that electric cars are two times more damaging and get into collisions comparing them to ICE cars.
The aim was to prove how EVs can easily catch fire, but the approach was not just right. What a shame that to show the vulnerability of the electric car batteries AXA group had to remove the essential component of the battery itself.
Instead of showcasing a true crash test to support the report, AXA chose to put a 6-year-old Tesla Model S on fire using some sort of fireworks. However, now they have admitted to staging the fire using pyrotechnics and said,
“Fortunately, the risk of fire in cars, regardless of whether they are petrol or electric, is low. Statistically, only 5 out of 10,000 cars die in a fire.”
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The AXA Event
The AXA Insurance group event was a promotion event to support its report on the vulnerability of electric vehicles as compared to ICE vehicles. The demonstration included a Tesla Model S to portray what happened when the EV collides and catches fire.
EU’s decision to put a ban on ICE cars from 2035 somewhat looks a reason like behind the AXA crash test. However, the risk still appears to be the same as the traditional engine cars. If you’re considering buying an EV, don’t let this staged accident deter you or bother you. EVs are actually very safe vehicles, and you can feel confident making a shift.
The insurer firm was adamant to point out the danger of EVs and cell fire problems, in general, using the crash test. However, the crash test did not include the standard Tesla Model S but a manipulated version of the EV.
AXA Insurance group went ahead to conduct two crash tests based on EVs to point out all fire and damage-related dangers. The event was headed to host some 500 people to witness how Tesla would catch fire after the underbody impact on the EV.
Tesla Model S Crash Test
The brief crash test video posted shows an old Tesla Model S variant with even the nose cone intact. The crash was real as it was thoroughly calculated, controlled, and planned by AXA crash test engineers. However, the only essential aspect to prove their whole point of the crash test was irrelevant.
AXA crash test was meant to showcase the potential risk of fire in electric cars. The German automobile club ADAC too points out the fact that currently available production models of EVs are far better than ICE cars. ADAC said in a statement that:
“None of the current electric cars have so far had negative results in a crash test. Compared to conventionally powered cars, the safety of electric cars is often even better because of the optimized crash structure in the vehicle.”
This was not all as the crash test video soon went viral on social media, and not until 24auto.de, a German publishing house enquired AXA about the test, that the truth came out. AXA Insurance publishes a press release along with the crash photos to now share factual information of how the Tesla is sans the battery. The reason the crash test was organized in the first place.
AXA knew not including the batteries could cause a stir and maybe, therefore, came up with a scapegoat statement saying,
“Demonstrating a battery fire would have been too dangerous due to the guests present, which is why the battery cells of the electric cars were removed before the tests.”
Why It Is Flawed?
Model S by Tesla is a pretty seasoned EV to face such challenges of fire and other safety concerns. The AXA insurance group failed to include the only component responsible to prove their whole point of the cell-fire safety hazard of EVs by removing the battery pack. Tesla Model S minus the battery packs change a lot to clearly state the problem at hand.
The insurer AXA set up this incredible demonstration of a Tesla scraping its battery and bursting into flames.
The only problem was… it was 100% staged and 500% bizarre. For audience safety, they removed the battery and… installed pyrotechnics.
What a weird timeline we're in. pic.twitter.com/M3er4ML3ep
— Gavin Shoebridge (@KiwiEV) August 31, 2022
The crash test would have made sense had AXA included the real battery pack of the EV and compared it to the results of the one with a traditional engine. In fact, given the track records of how Tesla Model S performs, there are slim chances of it getting this easily damaged and on fire.
The crash test used pyrotechnics to start the fire on Tesla. AXA insurance is one of the popular insurance companies that include and cover Tesla. The crash test is in a way completely fake as it does not include the exact weight and components of the Model S and misrepresents the situation.
So, why the test is flawed? The car was not actually on fire, and the battery was not even inside the Tesla Model S in this crash test. AXA Insurance staged a fake Tesla Model S on fire to show how unsafe EVs are without the actual battery inside!
No original battery in place and therefore no correct proof of fire in the EV. This means that AXA’s claims about EV safety are entirely misleading and inaccurate. Car fires are nothing new and yet are rare events. Moreover, every car can catch fire as there are thousands of reasons for that to happen.
What to Expect in the Future?
People, in general, would think that the insurance company must know what they are doing and only present a true crash test when doing it on a such big scale. However, when the true story came out, people were shocked that the company would go to a such low level just to prove how unsafe Tesla’s electric vehicles are.
The truth is that AXA staged the whole thing using a dummy battery inside the Tesla Model S. This was done to make it seem like the car was on fire when in reality, it was not. Needless to say, people were not happy about this, and many have since spoken out against the insurance company.
This just goes to show that you can’t always trust what you see, even if it’s from a big company like AXA. There is no correct data to conclude the vehicle fires. In fact, National Fire Incidents Reporting System or NFIRS does not even record fire data based on ICE and electric cars.
It would be interesting to see how Tesla responds to the alleged crash test, as there could be some repercussions here. Let’s wait and see how everything turns out. Please share your views in the comment section!