That battery below, let's protect it even more. We're fine with Model S as it is, but the folks over at Tesla apparently decided to go one step further in keeping the battery safe...
Back in 2013 two Model S fires burned the media much more than cars and their drivers. In that same year more than 200k gasoline cars cathed fire. Yup, that's five zeros more. Nevertheless, we haven't heard of someone taking care of it by adding more protection. But with just two fires to deal with, Tesla made that step and added new titanium shield to Mode S' battrey.
According to a lengthy post at Medium.com, signed by Tesla's Product Architect (we love that title :) Elon Musk, starting march 6, 2014, Model S is getting a new aluminum and titanium battery protection. The goal is to further protect the battery against road debris collision at high speeds.
So now Model S has a triple battery protection as follows:
- Aluminum bar;
- Titanium shield; and
- Shallow angle solid aluminum extrusion.
We're aware of four Model S in Bulgaria (fifth coming any day now), which owners, as all the others around the world, may request a free shields retrofit. They may need to get their cars to the nearest service station, which in our case is in Vienna. But that's hardly a problem as Model S runs 400-500 on a charge. Actually one of the cars was driven from Netherlands to Bulgaria ;).
In the Medium post Tesla explained it all in detail. We'll just share one interesting bit of information that says:
During the course of 152 vehicle level tests, the shields prevented any damage that could cause a fire or penetrate the existing quarter inch of ballistic grade aluminum armor plate that already protects the battery pack.
That includes a tow hitch, concrete block and alternator hitting the shields – you can see it yourself, they uploaded 3 short videos to show it (click Medium.com link above to see them).
Any impact on the range? Umm, not really:
In total, the shields only have a 0.1 percent impact on range and don’t affect ride or handling. Wind tunnel testing shows no discernible change in drag or lift on the car
Sounds like a very decent protection, and we're happy to hear it does not affect the range.
Again, Tesla did a great job in keeping Model S even safer against fires, though sparks usually come from the media. Fact is, Tesla Model S is even safer now. We like it!