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Tesla Cars Explosion in China Prompt Battery Upgrades

As Tesla works towards improving its cars, the company “believes the right number of incidents to aspire to is zero,” the report noted

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Visitors inspect Tesla electric cars at Brussels Motor Show, Belgium, Jan. 18, 2019. VOA

After two cases of cars exploding in China, electric vehicle (EV)-maker Tesla is planning to upgrade the battery systems of some of its cars.

The decision comes after a Tesla vehicle caught fire in Hong Kong last week, marking the second time a Tesla was found burning recently, CNN reported on Saturday.

“Out of an abundance of caution, we are revising charge and thermal management settings on Model S and Model X vehicles,” the report quoted the company spokesperson as saying.

Last month, a viral footage showed a Tesla Model S appearing to explode at a car park in Shanghai.

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A sales staff chats with a customer at a Tesla store near a poster announcing orders of the Model 3 electric cars in Beijing, China, Monday, Jan. 7, 2019. VOA

The company said it sent a team to the site of the Hong Kong fire to investigate the incident alongside the Chinese authorities.

EVs are generally far less likely to catch fire than gasoline vehicles.

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The EV-maker also said its battery packs are designed “so that in the very rare instance a fire does occur, it spreads very slowly and vents heat away from the cabin, alerting occupants that there is an issue and giving them enough time to exit the vehicle,” the spokesperson added.

As Tesla works towards improving its cars, the company “believes the right number of incidents to aspire to is zero,” the report noted. (IANS)

Next Story

New Virus Can Spread Through Human Contact: China

China: Possible That New Virus Could Spread Between Humans

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Security guards stand in front of the closed Huanan wholesale seafood market, where health authorities say a man who died from a respiratory illness had purchased goods from, in the city of Wuhan, Hubei province, China. VOA

The possibility that a new virus in central China could spread between humans cannot be ruled out, though the risk of transmission at the moment appears to be low, Chinese officials said Wednesday.

Forty-one people in the city of Wuhan have received a preliminary diagnosis of a novel coronavirus, a family of viruses that can cause both the common cold and more serious diseases. A 61-year-old man with severe underlying conditions died from the coronavirus on Saturday.

While preliminary investigations indicate that most of the patients had worked at or visited a particular seafood wholesale market, one woman may have contracted the virus from her husband, the Wuhan Municipal Health Commission said in a public notice.

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Commuters wear protection masks inside a subway train in Hong Kong, China. VOA

The commission said the husband, who fell ill first, worked at the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market. Meanwhile, the wife said she hasn’t had any exposure to the market.

It’s possible that the husband brought home food from the market that then infected his wife, Hong Kong health official Chuang Shuk-kwan said at a news briefing. But because the wife did not exhibit symptoms until days after her husband, it’s also possible that he infected her.

Chuang and other Hong Kong health officials spoke to reporters Wednesday following a trip to Wuhan, where mainland Chinese authorities briefed them on the outbreak.

The threat of human-to-human transmission remains low, Chuang said, as hundreds of people, including medical professionals, have been in close contact with infected individuals and have not been infected themselves.

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She echoed Wuhan authorities’ assertion that there remains no definitive evidence of human-to-human transmission.

The outbreak in Wuhan has raised the specter of SARS, or severe acute respiratory syndrome. SARS is a type of coronavirus that first struck southern China in late 2002. It then spread to more than two dozen countries, killing nearly 800 people. (VOA)