On Sunday, one of only 130-ish Porsche Taycans in the U.S. burst flames in a Florida garage, EV-focused car website Electrek reports. We don’t know much about the context surrounding the fire, but what is clear from a short YouTube video is that it caused serious damage to both the garage and the car, which is now little more than a pile of molten metal and plastic.
Electric cars are becoming more and more common, so it only makes sense that people are curious to learn about the vehicles’ failure modes. That’s why there’s been a tremendous amount of interest in Tesla fires like the ones in Shanghai and Hong Kong last year, and that’s why a number of media outlets are covering a recent Porsche Taycan immolation and not the many gasoline vehicle fires that happen all the time (let the record state that we’ve also covered gasoline supercar fires over the years). The cars are interesting and the technology is still relatively new, hence the coverage. Makes sense.
With that out of the way, I’ll just say that I know almost nothing about this Taycan fire. Electrek says it happened in Florida on Sunday. Porsche’s spokesperson wouldn’t confirm the location, but did say that the company first heard about the incident on Sunday.
“At this point, it’s too early to speculate on the cause of this incident. There have been no other reported incidents like this before, and we are willing to assist further investigation in any way we can,” the spokesperson said before declining to say where it went down. “Unfortunately, we’re not divulging the exact location of the incident out of respect for the investigation and the owner,” he told me over email.
A YouTuber named Cop Block posted a video (shown above) of the apparent aftermath along with a caption that reads simply “Porsche Taycan Explodes in a Florida Garage.” I asked the Porsche rep if this is indeed a Taycan in the footage, to which he responded: “We are confirming a Taycan was in the garage at the time of the incident.”
That’s it. That’s pretty much all we know at this point.
What I find interesting is that you can see that the full-length glass roof has disappeared, and much of the aluminium has melted away while the steel—with its higher melting point—has maintained its shape:
Here’s a look at the car’s material composition, in case you’re curious. This image shows the sheetmetal, which is aluminium:
And this image shows what’s under the sheetmetal—mostly steel, but a bit of aluminium (like the hood, and the rear roof crossmember centre section that I point out two images above).
While Porsche won’t speculate on the cause of the fire, I’ll just say what everyone’s thinking: It might have been in some way related to the batteries, as is often the case with EV fires resulting in catastrophic damage.
Per Porsche, the company delivered 130 Taycans before the end of 2019. That’s not a lot, so the fact that one of them has already gone up in flames while sitting in what is now a ridiculously-destroyed garage isn’t a good look. But it’s important to reiterate that we don’t know what caused this. The fire may not have been the result of any sort of defect with the Porsche; We’ll just have to wait for the results of the investigation.
The good news is that, according to Porsche’s spokesperson, no injuries have been reported.