AUSTIN, Texas – A Tesla was left completely charred after its driver crashed into a traffic light pole and into a gas pump in an Austin neighborhood.
The Austin Fire Department said the Tesla took out the northbound traffic signal in the 2600 block of Exposition Boulevard, near Westover Road in Tarrytown, before 2 a.m. on Thursday.
A male juvenile that was driving the Tesla Model X then crashed into a gas pump at a Shell station, causing the vehicle to burst into flames.
He was able to escape before the fire, officials told CBS Austin. No one was injured and the driver was the only person in the vehicle.
The driver, who has not been identified, was later arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence, the TV station reported.
Austin firefighters said crews had to use additional precautions because of re-ignition from the car’s battery pack.
According to KVUE, they used 40 times the amount of water for the Tesla than they would normally use for a car fire.
“They obviously run completely on battery power, so there’s a battery under the frame, which makes it hard to get to,” AFD Division Chief Thayer Smith told KVUE. “Plus, once it’s burning, they’re extremely hard to put out, they’ll reignite. As soon as you stop pouring water on it and it looks like it’s out, it would just reignite.”
The fire from the explosion also damaged the gas station’s awning.