Following a garage fire incident with a Model S EV last year, Tesla Motors speedily sent out an over-the-air application update to change how the car expenses. Following 2 on-road fires triggered by street debris that struck the underside of various Model S EVs (a single in Washington State and the other in Tennessee), Tesla generally mentioned, that it was a random point, and the vehicle is properly secure. The business later sent out a software update to have the car ride a bit greater at highway speeds. Today, Tesla is supplying a much more significant remedy.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk has announced that all Model S EVs developed since March 6 have a more powerful triple underbody shield that need to “bring this [fire] risk down to virtually zero.” The business conducted 152 tests using, “each worst situation debris effect we can believe of, such as hardened steel structures set in the perfect place for a piking occasion, in essence equivalent to driving a car at highway velocity into a steel spear braced on the tarmac” and is now assured that there’;s basically nothing at all that can break by way of the new barriers. As you can see right here, the shields avoid a concrete block, a 3 ball tow hitch and a steel alternator from puncturing the car’;s underside.
The new shields ought to “carry this [fire] threat down to almost zero.”
Any Model S proprietor who wants the new triple shield can request for it, and even if they don’;t request, the framework will be set up whenever the automobile is following in for service. The 3 layers of the shield contain a rounded, hollow aluminum bar, a titanium plate and “a shallow angle, sound aluminum extrusion.” The new shields, “only have a .1 percent impact on range and never have an effect on ride or handling,” Musk writes, which means there is no purpose for Model S owners not to get the improve. You can study all of Musk’;s explanation under.
By Elon Musk, Chairman, Product Architect & CEO
In 2013, 2 very uncommon Model S collisions resulted in underbody damage that led to automobile fires. These incidents, unfortunately, acquired a lot more nationwide headlines than the other 200,000 gasoline vehicle fires that occurred last yr in North America alone. In the 2 situations, the occupants walked away unharmed, thanks to the car’;s safety attributes. The onboard computer warned the occupants to exit the cars, which they did well before any fire was noticeable. Nevertheless, even if the occupants had remained in the vehicle and the fire division had not arrived, they would even now have been safely protected by the steel and ceramic firewall in between the battery pack and the passenger compartment.
It is important to note that there have been no fire injuries (or serious, everlasting injuries of any type) in a Tesla at all. The odds of fire in a Model S, at roughly one in 8,000 cars, are 5 instances lower than people of an typical gasoline car and, when a fire does occur, the actual combustion likely is comparatively little. Nevertheless, to enhance factors further, we provided an more than-the-air software program update a number of months in the past to increase the default ground clearance of the Model S at highway speeds, considerably lowering the odds of a severe underbody affect.
Nonetheless, we felt it was critical to deliver this threat down to practically zero to give Model S owners total peace of mind. Beginning with motor vehicle bodies manufactured as of March 6, all cars have been outfitted with a triple underbody shield. Tesla services will also retrofit the shields, free of charge, to current autos upon request or as component of a usually scheduled services.
Throughout the course of 152 vehicle level exams, the shields prevented any harm that could trigger a fire or penetrate the existing quarter inch of ballistic grade aluminum armor plate that presently protects the battery pack. We have tried each worst situation debris effect we can think of, like hardened steel structures set in the best place for a piking occasion, primarily equivalent to driving a automobile at highway velocity into a steel spear braced on the tarmac.
We think these adjustments will also aid stop a fire resulting from an extremely high pace impact that tears the wheels off the car, like the other Model S effect fire, which occurred last year in Mexico. This happened after the automobile impacted a roundabout at 110 mph, shearing off 15 feet of concrete curbwall and tearing off the left front wheel, then smashing by means of an 8 foot tall buttressed concrete wall on the other side of the street and tearing off the proper front wheel, before crashing into a tree. The driver stepped out and walked away with no long term injuries and a fire, once again limited to the front segment of the motor vehicle, commenced many minutes later on. The underbody shields will aid stop a fire even in such a situation.
The 1st of the 3 shields is a rounded, hollow aluminum bar that is designed to both deflect objects fully or, in the case of a self-stabilizing, ultra higher power object, like a 3 ball steel tow hitch, absorb the impact and force it to pike upwards nicely forward of the battery pack. This pierces the plastic aeroshield and front trunk liner, but brings about no harm affecting security and the car stays in manage and driveable ahead of, throughout and after the influence.
This is followed by a titanium plate, which has excellent power-to-weight properties and is far more commonly observed in aerospace or military applications. The titanium plate prevents delicate front underbody parts from being damaged and aids in neutralizing the street debris.
By this level, the vast vast majority of objects will have been deflected or crushed. For the uncommon piece of debris that stays intact, we added a third shield, which is a shallow angle, strong aluminum extrusion that additional absorbs effect power, provides an additional layer of deflection and last but not least leads to the Model S to ramp up and above the object if it is in essence incompressible and immovable.
Thanks to higher velocity cameras fixed underneath the cars in the course of testing, we have a close-up see of what takes place to the objects on effect. As illustrated in the slow movement movies beneath, the shields ruin every thing from a solid concrete block to a steel alternator and safely capture and eject objects made of ultra-difficult steel.
The protective attributes of the underbody shields are substantial, but their result on the total structure of the motor vehicle is minimal. In total, the shields only have a .1 % influence on assortment and never affect trip or managing. Wind tunnel testing shows no discernible change in drag or lift on the auto.
As the empirical evidence suggests, the underbody shields are not essential for a large level of security. Even so, there is important value to minimizing owner inconvenience in the event of an impact and addressing any lingering public misperception about electrical vehicle safety. With a track record of zero deaths or critical, everlasting injuries because our cars went into production 6 years in the past, there is no safer automobile on the street than a Tesla. The addition of the underbody shields simply takes it a stage more.