It was just over a month ago that we reported on a Tesla accident in Austria that resulted in firefighters needing to use a special container to transport the remains of the vehicle and the battery at the scene of the accident.
Now, the owner of the vehicle is having trouble finding someone who will properly recycle his wrecked car and its battery. It’s been sitting in one place since the accident and Tyrol reports that “nobody wants to burn their fingers to dispose of the car with its unpredictable 600kg lithium ion battery”.
The owner, Dominik Freymuth, says he feels “abandoned by the manufacturer”. Every morning he passes by the wreckage of his old vehicle, a stark reminder of being pulled out of his burning vehicle before it was charred to the ground, he says.
To try and get the car taken care of after the wreck, he reached out to Tesla’s Austrian disposal partner ÖCAR Autoverwertungs. Tesla’s website says “ÖCAR Automobile Recycling has a large network of authorized recycling and disposal partners fully licensed by the Department of the Environment.”
But ÖCAR reportedly has “no permission” to take over Tesla models, according to a spokeswoman for the company. She stated: “I can not give you any information because we have no authorization for Tesla.”
Many disposal companies don’t want to deal with the Tesla batter, because its a “fire hazard” and because you “do not remember where the battery starts and where it stops” – especially after a wreck.
Martin Klingler, waste disposal expert at the Schwaz environmental company DAKA, said (translated):
“Such a large lithium battery can not be taken over by his company, since one does not even know the mix of dangerous substances inside them. The electric vehicle manufacturers kept the composition of their elixirs top secret so as not to lose their competitive edge. The liquid in which the accident car was cooled by the Walchsee is a dangerously poisonous brew, but now a coveted drop. The Montanuniversität Leoben has already secured samples of it in order to discover the secret of its content.”