Is the battery water protected??

Is the battery water protected??

Hi, Im sure you guys are on it but anyway my question:

The S will have a battery replacement system, but the battery's are under the floor so
would that not make them vulnerable in case of a flood or stuff like that?

Vawlkus | January 11, 2011

No, the batteries are sealed. The one and ONLY way to short them is to break the battery case open, which Tesla has already thought of and designed the car so that in the event of an impact being registered (by similar sensors to airbags) the car disconnects the power system, so the battery will be inert.

Look at it this way: an impact bad enough to smash the battery pack open will have already turned all the passengers in the car into pulp, which does NOT happen all that often.

Discoducky | January 11, 2011

I would imagine that Tesla, like GM for the Volt, will conduct a water submerge test.

Watch the video here:

Tyger | January 12, 2011

i know the test, thats why i asked this, you say that the batteries are sealed so how can you replace them? they need to connect to the car if you replace them.

ChristianG | January 12, 2011

the battery pack is almost the whole lower part of the car. You defenitely need to open some screws to change it. Also it will be quiet heavy so it's not something you'll do yourself anyway. Fast battery swapping is possible theoretically, as they state in on the website. But it's not something you'll do by yourself.

How the connection looks like I have no Idea but for the model S everything was newly desgned. Also Tesla has a working battery pack out there so I don't think that this is something to worry about.

BYT | January 12, 2011

It will be like replacing the battery on your laptop but the Tesla battery is 900 lbs. :)

Timo | January 12, 2011

If anybody is interested that "one minute battery swap" has disappeared from Model S features page. Maybe the battery pack has been designed so that fast battery swap is possible but it has not been actually build for it. Maybe just because this water getting into connectors -issue, also water expands when it freezes which can break rock or bend metals, so it is a bad thing to let water get into battery structures. Watertight sealing of fast-swap battery might just be an impossible task.

Also AFAIK there are no swap stations that could provide that service anywhere.

I'm just speculating here.

Discoducky | January 12, 2011

It is very possible to design a watertight electical connector for the battery back in the Model S that will last the life of the car and battery pack (I'm picturing a marine DC/DC relay found in most in board engines, only bigger; Or a negative pressure seal)

Also, for the quick swap, as long as you design and build a template and rig/hoist, this can be as easy and quick as a NASCAR wheel change.

Timo | January 13, 2011

Swap can be done and watertight seal can be done, trick is to get those done at the same time. Not an easy task anymore.

Douglas3 | January 13, 2011

One minute swap is absurd, you can't undo that many bolts in that time. Certainly it sounds like with proper equipment you could do it in minutes.

Mike_ModelS_P457 | January 13, 2011

One minute swap is absurd. The point is clearly to say it is no less convenience than gassing up an ICE for five minutes. Why not work for a comparable time to swap as a statement?

Timo | January 13, 2011

One minute swap is far from absurd if it is done the way Project Better Place does it. IIRC their record is 45 seconds starting counting from car entering the swap station and ending in driving it out.

Whole thing is meant to be changed using robotics, no humans involved. Using that size or amount of bolts doesn't matter as long as it is one unit that can be taken out whole and another put in same slot. You can't do it at all, robots can.

Discoducky | January 14, 2011

@Timo, thanks for mentioning PBP as everyone who thinks it cannot be swapped very fast (less time it takes to fill a petrol tank)...

Should watch this video:

David70 | January 22, 2011

While I don't doubt that quick battery pack swapping would be doable (with appropriate hydraulic lift), I do doubt that the infrastructure will be there for a very long time. What station, etc. is going to maintain an inventory of packs. IMHO it won't be practical for an alternate to recharging without a great deal of logistic handling. How much do you get charged? It would have to be based on the remaining expected life of your pack, not just on the charge difference between your original and replacement pack.

Timo | January 22, 2011

I think Tesla has come to same conclusion with you. They recently said that battery pack "is designed for fast swapping", but didn't say that swapping is actually an option, and that "one minute swap" has disappeared from features page. In innovations-page has "The location of the battery pack below the floor also enables rapid interchangeability.", but that is not the same as "battery swap in this and that minutes".

In my opinion whole battery swap isn't viable option.