This is what an insurance company tried to do in Switzerland, and for that, it staged a crash test to show that EV batteries are prone to fires following a crash. AXA Insurance started their test based on the assumption that the high torque of electric vehicles could surprise an inexperienced driver and result in loss of control. The car in the test hits a road island, which scrapes the battery pack, resulting in a rollover and a battery fire.
The only problem is that AXA had removed the battery pack on the Tesla and used pyrotechnics instead to show how dangerous the EV batteries are. The fake fire was revealed by 24auto.de, and AXA Insurance admitted on record that there were no batteries in the tested vehicles.
According to the company’s press office, “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.” The company later re-uploaded two pictures from the test with a “fire staged” mark.
As you can see in the video, the Tesla does not drive using its own power but is towed by another vehicle. This is not unusual in the world of crash tests. However, removing the batteries of an electric vehicle before a crash test has never been done before. This could impact the stiffness of the vehicle and unpredictably change the car’s behavior in case of a crash. But it’s unheard of to demonstrate that batteries can catch fire by assuring they are not even present in the crashed car.
The insurer AXA set up this incredible demonstration of a Tesla scraping its battery and bursting into flames.— Gavin Shoebridge (@KiwiEV) August 31, 2022
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