Flood-proof Tesla ? Is it even possible?

Flood-proof Tesla ? Is it even possible?

Could it be possible that Elon is tinkering on making the next Tesla (i.e. Model E) flood-proof with his purchase of the Lotus sub?

Another compelling reason to buy a Tesla?

Is this even possible?

Brian H | October 26, 2013


Timo | October 26, 2013

Possible? Yes. I mean technically. Whole another thing is does Tesla do that. I don't think so. You don't need a sub to make a boat, so that doesn't have any real connection to Tesla cars.

NumberOne | October 26, 2013

The Lotus Sub has nothing to do with any current or future Tesla. The specific sub that Elon acquired is not even water tight, and can only be operated under water and not driven. One would need to wear a wetsuit (for thermal protection) when submerged and wear a Scuba Mask and Regulator to breathe. Making the Model E flood proof is not the reason for the acquisition, and making any vehicle flood proof at depth would be cost prohibitive.

Timo | October 26, 2013

Normal car can't dive if it is waterproof. Passenger compartment + tires is way larger than what is needed to float car like Model S.

That actually working Lotus Elise submarine doesn't even try to hold the air, it is convertible.

Bubba2000 | October 26, 2013

Elon has access to battery and induction motor tech that would allow him to build an "Elektroboot" with wheels. With 85KW-hr you can have a nice personal sub. The Soviet Union build tracked subs that could crawl on the ocean floor. Instead of tracks use regular wheels to drive around out of the water. Titanium body, sealed external motors.

I just do not understand how Elon has time to mess with submersibles. He has 5 young kids, running Tesla, SpaceX, Chairman of Solar City.

Timo | October 27, 2013

I think it just a toy for Elon, nothing more. Kind of "that's cool, I'll buy it" thing.

elephant in a bottle | October 28, 2013

Thanks guys for the feedback.
There are many inherent design advantages that an electric-car has over an ICE-car , this includes instant-acceleration, advanced crumple-zone design , minimal maintenance due to much fewer car parts , etc.. list goes on.

I was wondering if flood-proofing is one of them, considering its minimal underbody flat-chassis design, which seems an ICE-car couldn't "practically" have.

My take IMHO is if cost of adding flood-proofing is not an issue, add flood-proofing into future teslas .. this gives people another reason to forego buying an ICE-car to a Tesla car.

You also get the free advertising whenever a geographical region gets flooded where all ICE-cars head to car-heaven, while Teslas survive unscathed.

AndreyATC | October 28, 2013

I wonder what't the highest water dept you can run your MS through
I see some deep paddles in the area right in the middle of the road

AndreyATC | October 28, 2013

^^ After big rain

Brian H | October 28, 2013

The pack is one thing; every connection in the car is another. Every light, display, fan, the motor, etc. would have to be water-proof. I doubt it's feasible.

Timo | October 29, 2013

Not if you prevent water from getting there, IE make it a boat with car shape. I don't think that's that hard to do, at least for puddles shallow enough that water doesn't enter inside the cabin. Completely flood-proof (or drive-in-the-lake -proof) is probably not feasible because water pressure in that deep water makes waterproofing doors etc. too hard.

You could make it lake-proof if it just keeps water out of critical systems long enough that you can open roof and escape from there (assuming you are not upside down in the water).

Brian H | October 29, 2013

"Flood proof" implies more than escape-able!

Timo | October 29, 2013

Flood can be rather shallow too: rivers expanding to fields and yards at spring when ice produces dams to them, or sudden thunderstorm causing part of the road turn to river for few minutes.

Not sure if this is more or less than escape-able. Different.

I wonder how deep water needs to be before Model S -like car starts to float assuming it doesn't let water inside it (trunk, frunk, passenger area). Not very I guess.

It can be done, only question really is how feasible it is to do that. I don't think it is too hard technically, but it could be that it would be too costly to do it in mass-produced vehicle. OTOH the cool-factor for car that just doesn't sink would be enormous.

For Tesla Model Off-road. Sails and propeller optional.

Brian H | October 29, 2013

A floating car will almost certainly end up somewhere you don't much want to be. Bad news.

Timo | October 30, 2013

Non-floating car in similar situation would end up in bottom. That's not very good news either.

Brian H | October 30, 2013

Better talk to safety experts and get their assessment re floating. One of the worst dangers for a car in a flood stream.

Timo | October 31, 2013

If the stream is deep it moves the "non-floating" car too. It takes time before water enters the interior even on normal car and that makes pretty much all cars "floating" at least temporarily. Also stream doesn't have to be very strong to move a car, one cubic meter of water weights a ton.

However actually floating car could prevent drowning in case of accident where car ends up in a lake and also a lot of minor cases of flooding ruining interior of the car.