Says lithium-ion-battery-testing manager Dan Doughty of Sandia National Laboratory, "If there are 7,000 cells, and there's one in ten million failures, you do the math in terms of how many vehicles are going to have a cell problem." The problem with the failures? Well, the batteries can burst into flame. Having seen the Tesla battery box in person and having had had it explained to us by an engineer, we're very impressed with the safety precautions the company has taken. But figure we don't know ten million people, and we've known more than one who've had an internal-combustion car catch fire. Heck, we even once had our own start smoldering once. Transport's always a risk, but to us, the Tesla doesn't seem any more dangerous than the Lotus Elise upon which it's based.
Are Lithium-Ion Electric Cars Safe? [Technology Review]
Mechanical Resonance: The Tesla Motors Press Intro, Complete With Governator [Internal]