Another headline about a fiery Tesla crash has people wondering if those lithium ion batteries are safe.
“A battery powered vehicle having a fire incident is newsworthy. A gasoline powered vehicle having a fire is newsworthy only if it stops traffic,” said Steven Risser, senior research leader at Battelle, a nonprofit research and development firm, and one of the leading experts on the risk of fires in electric vehicles.
Here’s the answers to questions about the risk of electric car fires:
Are electric cars more likely to catch fire?
The simple answer is probably not. Chances are they might even be safer, though it’s tough to say that definitively.
“The propensity and severity of fires and explosions from … lithium ion battery systems are anticipated to be somewhat comparable to or perhaps slightly less than those for gasoline or diesel vehicular fuels,” according to the results of an in-depth investigation into the relative fire risks of the two types of vehicles conducted by Battelle for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration last fall.
About 174,000 vehicle fires were reported in the United States in 2015, the most recent year for which statistics are available from the National Fire Protection Association. Virtually all of those fires involved gasoline powered cars. That works out to about one every three minutes.
Tesla claims that gasoline powered cars are about 11 times more likely to catch fire than a Tesla. It says the best comparison is fires per 1 billion miles driven. It says the 300,000 Teslas on the road have been driven a total of 7.5 billion miles, and about 40 fires have been reported. That works out to five fires for every billion miles traveled, compared to a rate of 55 fires per billion miles traveled in gasoline cars.
But Risser said still there’s not enough data to make valid comparisons at this point.
How do lithium ion batteries powering electric vehicles catch fire?
There have been some other high profile fire problems involving lithium ion batteries in other uses – in cell phones, in laptops and even in Boeing passenger jets. But so far the fires involving electric vehicles have been caused by some kind of crash or other damage to the battery while driving.
“Tesla’s battery packs rarely incur serious damage, and when they have, the accident was highly unusual or severe,” said Tesla’s statement.
What happens with a lithium ion battery fire is typically a short circuit within one or more of the battery’s cells, which generates heat. The heat can then ignite the chemicals within the battery. That can cause problems in the adjoining cells and lead to the condition known as “thermal runaway” in which the fire spreads and builds. That’s apparently what happened in a fatal Tesla crash in Switzerland last week.
How else is a lithium ion battery fire different from a gasoline fire?
The biggest difference is the time it takes to ignite. Gasoline fires start almost immediately when gasoline comes in contact with a spark or flame, and spreads rapidly. Battery fires typically take some time to achieve the heat necessary to start the fire.
In some instances, that delay is very good news. It can let the occupants of a car involved in a crash to get out of the vehicle before the fire starts. But it can pose its own problems. Sometimes a battery can be damaged, perhaps by the car running over some debris, and the driver might not be aware of the damage. And then a fire can start well after the initial incident. That could theoretically cause a fire after the car is parked in a garage.
And even when the battery fire is obvious, Tesla warns first responders that it can take 24 hours for a battery fire to be fully extinguished.
Can the fire risk for electric cars be reduced?
Yes. And Risser and others say that is likely to happen.
Research is taking place for new materials that might not only make batteries lighter and more efficient, but could possibly make them safer. “Gasoline is a very risky material. We have had 130 years of designs and experience to make a gasoline powered vehicle as safe as possible. We’re still at early stages of understanding how to make lithium ion batteries safe,” he said.
These are 4 best restaurants in NY
1 Eleven Madison Park
Manhattan, New York
Eleven Madison Park is a fine dining restaurant located in the heart of New York City. The restaurant overlooks one of the most beautiful parks in Manhattan, Madison Square Park, and sits at the base of a historic Art Deco building on the corner of 24th Street and Madison Avenue. Located here since 1998, it just underwent a full-scale renovation and redesign – during which the entire restaurant was moved to East Hampton for a summer-long pop-up, EMP Summer House.
The restaurant has been owned by Chef Daniel Humm and Restaurateur Will Guidara since 2011 and during that time it has evolved considerably, both in food and in experience. Today, the restaurant offers an eight to ten course menu in the main dining room, but guests can also visit the bar for a more abbreviated tasting menu, some light snacks, or simply for a cocktail or glass of wine.
2 Blue Hill at Stone Barns
Pocantico Hills, New York
The original Blue Hill restaurant, opened in 2000, is located in Greenwich Village, New York City. Hidden three steps below street level, the restaurant occupies a landmark “speakeasy” just off of Washington Square Park.
Blue Hill’s menu showcases local food and a wine list with producers who respect artisanal techniques. Ingredients come from nearby farms, including Blue Hill Farm in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, and Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture, a forty-five minute drive from New York City. Guests can choose from the four-course “Tasting Menu” or opt for the “Farmer’s Feast,” a six-course tasting inspired by the week’s harvest.
Manhattan, New York
Cosme is a restaurant in New York City’s Flatiron District serving contemporary Mexican-inspired cuisine. World-renowned Chef Enrique Olvera and his team create dishes rooted in Mexican flavors and traditions, while also celebrating local and seasonal ingredients from the Hudson Valley and surrounding region. Cosme’s beverage program focuses on artisanal spirits and mirrors its cuisine, letting the high quality ingredients shine.
4 Le Bernardin
Manhattan, New York
The restaurant holds several records in New York: it received its four-star review from The New York Times only three months after opening and is the only New York four star restaurant that has maintained its status of excellence for more than 20 years. Reviews have come in 1986, 1989, 1995, 2005, and most recently in 2012, with the same verdict: four stars. Le Bernardin has received more James Beard Awards than any other restaurant in New York City. In 1998, Maguy Le Coze won the coveted James Beard Award for “Outstanding Restaurant” in America, and in May 2003, the James Beard Foundation named Eric Ripert “Outstanding Chef.” In 2009, Le Bernardin was honored with the James Beard Award for “Outstanding Wine Service.” The Michelin Guide, which made its New York debut in 2005, honored Chef Ripert and Le Bernardin with its highest rating of three stars in 2005 and each year thereafter, and the restaurant ranks 17 on the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list. The New York Zagat Guide has consistently recognized Le Bernardin as top rated in the category of “Best Food” and the 2011- 2016 editions awarded it a 29 food rating: the highest in New York City. In the 2012-2014, 2016 & 2017 Zagat Guides, Le Bernardin is named the Most Popular Restaurant in the city, and in the 2015–2017 guides, it’s also rated the city’s top restaurant for service. New York magazine also rated Le Bernardin #1 in its annual ranking of the 101 best restaurants in New York City in 2006. In his year-end dining feature, Frank Bruni of The New York Times selected Le Bernardin as the “Best Meal of 2008.” Most recently, for 2017 Le Bernardin was ranked #2 in the world and #1 in American on La Liste’s international list of 1,000 restaurants.
Summer Solstice 2018: What You Need to Know About the Longest Day of the Year
The longest day of the year for people in the Northern Hemisphere — the summer solstice — is Thursday, June 21. It’s easy to forget that the first day of summer 2018 is actually a cosmic event. Here’s what you need to know:
When is the 2018 summer solstice?
The summer solstice’s exact moment is when the sun sits directly over the Tropic of Cancer (the 23.5° north latitude mark). This will take place at 6:07 a.m. ET/3:07 a.m. PT. (You can look up the time for your location here.)
What is the summer solstice?
The Earth’s axis — think of it as an invisible pole that the Earth spins on — is tilted rather than perfectly upright. This tilt always points the same direction. As the Earth orbits the sun, different parts of the planet receive more sunlight — thus our seasons: winter, spring, summer and fall.
Following the winter solstice, the Northern Hemisphere begins to get more sunlight; the daytime and nighttime hours are nearly equal at the spring equinox, which takes place in March.
During the summer solstice, “the sun shines directly on the Northern Hemisphere and indirectly on the Southern Hemisphere,” NASA explains. Thus, anywhere north of the equator gets a peak amount of daylight (or a full day of sunlight if you’re at the Arctic Circle). And contrary to what some may think, the Earth is actually furthest from the sun in its orbit during the Northern Hemisphere’s summer season.
What about the Southern Hemisphere?
June 21 marks the 2018 winter solstice for people south of the equator. Residents of places like Australia will experience the year’s shortest day (and the start of winter).
Driver with head full of racist tattoos gets into car accident with deliveryman on bike
A man with a head full of racist tattoos — including one that reads “AM A PSYCHOTIC NEO NAZI SERIAL KILLER SKIN HEAD FOREVER FOREVER” — got into a car accident with an Asian deliveryman on a bicycle in Brooklyn on Monday night, authorities said.
The heavily inked motorist was behind the wheel of a U-Haul cargo van when he collided with the rider aboard an electric bike on Broadway near Gerry Street, in front of the Food Bazaar Supermarket in Williamsburg, at about 9:30 p.m., authorities said.
Despite the man’s tats — which also included one that reads in all caps “I hate s–cs n—ers Indians Lebians women” — police said the crash appeared to be an accident and no charges were filed.
“I saw them take the guy (bicyclist) away. I think he was bleeding — middle-aged,” a witness said. “I think he was really injured.”
The bicyclist was rushed to Bellevue Hospital in Manhattan in critical condition. He’s expected to survive.
The driver remained at the scene of the accident and answered questions from police.
The man — who declined to comment — passed a field sobriety test and has a clean criminal and driving record, law enforcement sources said. Neither his identity nor that of the victim was released.
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