Sliding Door Idea

Have any of the engineers at Tesla ever considered adding fully or partially sliding/disappearing doors to a Tesla?

In addition to the wow factor, they would help keep doors from swinging open and hitting the adjacent vehicle(s) during high winds and provide those with limited space, like a one car garage or a tight parking space, better access upon entering and exiting, and thus greater piece of mind.

To prevent the items from flying away when the doors are opened and closed extra storage via deeper pockets on the seat backs and compartments above the air vents and in the back of the rear center seat could be added.

To compensate for the missing bottle/sippy cup/thermos holders the car could include a cup holder mounted at or near the front passenger's left calf or foot.

The elbow ledges could rotate towards the passengers so the ledges do not jam in the doors when opening and closing.

Finally, such doors would greatly help emergency personnel, especially while inside the Boring company tunnels and other such structures, by providing them with an unobstructed opening. Such doors would allow them to extract the driver and passengers much more quickly and efficiently, possibly even reducing the need to reach for the jaws of life.

Jennifer M. Montgomery

To further the safety measures the cars should also include an OnStar accident type of feature, where a Tesla Roadside Assistance Representative calls the vehicles in the case of an collision.

I have not been in a collision since owning my Model 3, so disregard if this is already a feature.


  • edited November -1
    @ jennifer - Tesla has a much cooler sliding door on the X, but perhaps you are thinking more minivan?

    I've seen one prototype of a car that had the door slide under the car, which was cool design, but overly complex and not practical in an EV where the battery pack resides in the floor. So far I'm not aware of any automaker taking this type of design on. Here's a video:

    Tesla has roadside assistance automatically call you in the event of a detected accident for many years now.
  • edited November -1
    There goes your battery!
  • edited June 2019
    When my wife's car was in an accident, Tesla called me within 3 minutes to inquire if I was OK. So they have the auto calling if in an accident.
  • edited November -1
    Tesla did not want to install a sliding door on their Model X as there is a Minivan stigma they wanted to avoid. Felt the SUV image would command more volume at a higher price.

    As far as the Model S and 3, it would not be practical, with a low profile vehicle.

    Those concept cars with the doors that slide underneath the floor boards would not work, as Tesla is using that space for their traction batteries.
  • edited November -1
    Sliding minivan doors-wow factor? Baahahahaha!
  • edited November -1
    I proposed something like that that took advantage of an aero taper in a top view in 2015. The door rotated up, concentric with the rear wheel - rotating into the space left by the aero taper. The SAE publication number is SAE 2016-01-1333 Passengers First Light Truck.pdf Figure 11 show the concept.

    Even Franz would struggle to make it look good!
  • edited November -1
    Bmw made a small car that was available in Europe 20 yrs ago that had doors that retracted downward.
  • edited June 2019
    About once a year that topic along with the video is posted. Although Tesla will most likely never have those, I personally find those doors super cool.
  • edited June 2019
    @ jennifermontgomery84

    Ah, the whimsy of a true soccer mom, minivan advocate....

    Not poking fun, just saying given all of the reasons listed above (and more) by others as to the reasons why such a 'feature' would be disadvantages for Tesla's current model lineup.

    FWIW, Chinese EV startup Nio does have a concept offering of a future autonomous vehicle they've nicked 'Eve" that features a sliding door, you know, if that's something that you've just got to have:

    No news on an actual release date, or state-side availability, but I didn't want to leave you hanging.
  • I should of clarified that I did not mean for them to be like minivan sliders. I did not want to restrict their creativity, but in being a little vague I gave the wrong impression of my idea.

    I would like to see them disappear into a gap between the battery pack and the seats, thus making it so that the seats sit on top of a platform.

    The doors could have a mechanism like a heavy duty pulley system that the passengers could activate from the inside to close the doors in case the power is compromised somehow. The parts of the pulleys that the passengers touch could be shaped like the loops on modern passenger mass transit trains/els/subways and busses. That way they can be operated by people with some, but not all, disabilities and mobility issues without taking away from much of the view.
  • edited June 2019
    It was the whole "bottle/sippy cup/thermos holders" and 'extra deep storage pockets' that lent the "impression" that you were thinking of/referencing minivans.

    For the sake of contributing to a thought exercise, just what shape would these retractable doors take?

    Would they be the typical flat-like doors that we're all familiar with or would they be convex in shape to more so easily 'roll' under and into the chassis in this "gap" you mentioned, or would they fold down and outwards from the top and then slide under the car and into the chassis bottom first? Or is there some other shape you've envisioned?

    Either of the two examples I've provided present their own particular nuances that would prove detrimental to both implementation and practicality of use due to for example, restrictions on door frame and structure thickness, increased sub-frame height and resultant increased vehicle weight, increased/extended interior/occupant exposure to the elements on an inclement weather day, complexity of retraction/closing mechanism(s) and associated vehicle weight increase, etc., etc.

    Granted it would be pretty "trick" (I think is the appropriate term), but not very practical given our current state of technological development all things considered, interesting concept though.
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