A Model X electric SUV smash into a traffic light in the state capital before catching fire in the early hours of Thursday.
Fire officials say that the blaze was hard to bring under control because of the battery cells that power the car.
Video shows the car, which has a starting price tag around $80,000, engulfed in flames after the incident in the Tarrytown area of the city.
“They obviously run completely on battery power, so there’s a battery under the frame, which makes it hard to get to. Plus, once it’s burning, they’re extremely hard to put out – they’ll reignite,” AFD Division Chief Thayer Smith said.
And he said that firefighters were now trained on how to extinguish the lithium batteries in electric cars.
“From a previous experience from other departments around the country and the state, we are aware of the issues when a Tesla burns,” he added.
“There are some other procedures. Normally a car fire you can put out with 500 to 1,000 gallons of water, but Tesla’s may take up to 30,000-40,000 gallons of water, maybe even more, to extinguish the battery pack once it starts burning and that was the case here.”
The driver of the car was alone at the time of the crash and did not suffer any injuries.
Police said the male juvenile had been driving under the influence of alcohol and was arrested at the scene.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced last year that he was moving to Austin from California.
The company is building a Gigafactory in the city where it will produce its Model Y crossover and its eagerly anticipated Cybertruck, which has now been delayed until 2022.
Join our new commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies