Tesla Model S Gets Updated With Titanium Underbody Shield and Aluminum Deflector Plates To Prevent Fire
It is infuriating that this news even deserves printing, but when faced with massive change and new technology consumers are overtly concerned. After a pair of isolated incidents that resulted in Tesla Model S vehicles to catch on fire, due to a damaged battery pack, Tesla has designed an entirely new underbody protection system that uses multiple stage of protection, as well as exotic materials like titanium.
Let us just clear the air first. As Tesla claims in its press release, the odds of any Model S catching on fire are far less likely than in a standard gasoline-powered car. According to Tesla there were more than 200,000 gasoline car fires last year in the United States alone. Compared to two Model S fires. In North America. One of the fires was a result of a collision that happened at more than 100 mph. Would you be even slightly concerned if a car crashing at 100 mph had burst into a fireball?
Nevertheless, people were concerned about safety with the Model S, so Elon Musk and the gang have responded. The new underbody system has been created to prevent punctures and damage from any sort of road debris collision from concrete to hardened steel. During testing, Tesla even mounted pointed objects into the test surface at the perfect angle to force a "piking" event, and the new protective system successfully prevented any damage.
The Tesla Model S was already one of the safest vehicles currently in production, and now it might just be one of the safest vehicles in all of existence.
Click past the jump to read more about the Tesla Model S’s triple underbody shield.
The Telsa Model S’s triple underbody shield is composed, as its name implies, of three separate parts. The first piece of protective equipment is rounded hollow aluminum bar that is positioned to deflect objects away form the car. Think of it as a roll cage for your battery. If the object is too big to be deflected, the bar is designed to force the object to "pike" into the front of the car into the front trunk. There will still be substantial damage to the car in this scenario, but there will be zero damage to they battery meaning zero fire possibility.
The second part of the shield is a titanium plate. The plate is merely an ultra-strong piece of metal that is designed to protect the equipment behind it, while providing strength to crush road debris. Tesla tested large pieces of concrete, none of which could stand up to the impact against the plate.
Should the road detritus make it beyond the first two barriers, an angled extrusion made of solid aluminum absorbs impacts, and in a worse case scenario will make the Model S ramp up and over the item in the road, protecting the occupants and energy storage system from harm.
If any item was to make it past these new defenses, the battery is still protected by the original ballistics-strength aluminum plate.
The Model S is going to be fine, no matter what you hit.