Tesla Model S Floats Like a Boat
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It’s every car’s dream to be the best at what they do: being a car. Yet it wouldn’t be too far off to say Tesla cars have aspirations to be a good boat, too. They can handle deep waters much better than other cars.
If you want to feel like Captain Jack Sparrow, driving a Tesla is the way to go (not recommended at home).
The Tesla Model S is one of the most advanced cars on the road. | Courtesy of Tesla, Inc.
Testing Tesla cars in deep waters
InsideEVs discusses the “swimming” potential of a Tesla.
Electric vehicles (EVs) in general fare better in flood conditions than gas cars. Even Elon Musk has noted that a Model S “floats well enough to turn it into a boat for short periods of time” using “thrust via wheel rotation.”
Tesla tests its cars in deep waters during the quality control process. Funnily enough, though, Tesla doesn’t cover flood damage in its warranty.
That’s probably because natural disasters can cause so much unexpected and expensive chaos.
It is very dangerous, and potentially fatal, to drive a car through deep waters, even one like a Tesla Model S or 3. Always try to avoid going through areas that have flash flood warnings.
At least it’s good to know in the back of your mind that if you’re forced to drive through water, a Tesla is better than other cars at “swimming.” Sometimes you have no choice, after all.
We *def* don't recommended this, but Model S floats well enough to turn it into a boat for short periods of time. Thrust via wheel rotation.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) June 19, 2016
Why driving a car through deep waters is bad
During a flood, there are many potential dangers, including:
- Tires losing traction, causing a crash
- Rushing flood water carrying you downstream, causing a crash
- Engine hydrolocking, causing—you guessed it—a crash
Gas engines are especially prone to hydrolocking. A hydrostatic lock occurs when water gets sucked into the intake.
Deep waters of 2 feet and above make it extremely dangerous to drive through with a car. Flood damage can cost around $12,000 to repair, depending on the model and the extent of the damages.
After the deluge…
…comes water damage.
Water damage sucks, especially since it’s not always visible in the beginning. It can be insidious, seeping through your car in the form of moldy smells, rusty trunks, and more.
It can also be very costly, since a car can be deemed a total loss after sustaining significant water damage.
If your car is unlucky enough to get damaged by a flood, well, don’t worry, even Captain Jack Sparrow loses his ship.
As long as you have comprehensive coverage, your insurance will probably cover all the damages to your car.
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