The general principle of car manufacturing is that a vehicle should not be destroyed by the very fuel it is running on. Indeed with electric vehicles, that's actually some of the appeal.
Imagine the utter shock a Tesla driver experienced when her electric car, Model S was completely destroyed by the very thing that was supposed to power it -- electricity (also known lightning).
Sarah Day was charging her Tesla at a Supercharger location in Georgia, U.S., when she noticed a series of errors pop up on her dashboard, including a message saying that her car had stopped charging after the vehicle had been struck by lightning.
Cars, including electric ones usually have an inbuilt Faraday Cage that help distribute electric current from lightning strikes away from the car and onto the surrounding ground.
In Day's case however the car simply went to pot.
She posted the video, which captured lightning striking her car, on YouTube with a description that conveys the ridiculous irony of it all.
Lightning struck near my Tesla while supercharging. The car went nuts and the 12v battery almost died.
What's worse is that mechanics were unable to tow her car away as the charging cable could not be disconnected from the charging station.
Speaking to Teslaratti she explained:
“I heard the crash, and just a second or two after about 9 errors popped up on the dashboard. Some of them were low charge warnings, saying it would disable some functions. Others were on how the car needs to be serviced. I was also getting that the car can’t be charged, and that the 12 volt battery is low.
“After the storm died down I got out of the car. The charging port wasn’t lit up, and when I tried to remove the cable it wouldn’t come out. I still had most of the functions in the car, including the touchscreen. The other car that was charging just a couple stalls down from me was completely fine and drove away, though I didn’t get to talk to that owner afterwards.”
Tesla's Supercharging system is reportedly meant to have an inbuilt mechanism made up of sensors that protects it from surges of electricity, which suggests that the incident may have been a freak of nature or mechanics.
Tesla are yet to comment on why Day's car shutdown. For now, we'll just have to accept nature's frustrating way of breaking all our carefully laid out rules.