It’s pretty much common knowledge by now — especially among China’s popular Model 3 “Boat Mode” videos — that the Tesla handles the flood fairly well. But while Tesla’s battery and powertrain are tightly sealed, there are water levels that can still prove a bit dangerous or risky.
That was certainly the case at a recent incident involving the Tesla Model S in Helen, Georgia, earlier this month. Helen was recently hit by a lot of rain due to Tropical Storm Fred. As local news reports reported, White County officials were busy with storm-related issues such as power outages and flooding for much of Tuesday, August 17. Helen, in particular, noticed some of her streets being filled with water flowing from the Chattahoochee River.
In one of these streets, the owner of a Tesla Model S decided to go deep into the water. But unlike their fellow electric vehicle owners in China who took their Model 3s on flooded roads that were up to the wheel arches of their vehicles, Model S owners went even further. At one point during the all-electric sedan’s entry into a flooded street, the water was so deep that the Model S didn’t look like it was in “boat mode” anymore. Instead, it appeared that the vehicle was already in “submarine mode”.
Such a stunt, of course, is not really recommended, and one can only imagine the Model S’s repair bill if its journey through flood waters went sideways. Luckily for the Tesla owner, though, the all-electric sedan withstood the floodwaters well enough to look like it crossed territory. Video taken of the vehicle during the crossing showed that some motorists were quite surprised by the act.
Elon Musk has mentioned in the past that Teslas can actually serve as improvised boats for a short period of time. It was demonstrated in China in July when a Model 3 owner used his all-electric sedan to exit a flooded tunnel that was already loaded with other vehicles that stopped due to rising water. Had gone. The dramatic video, which showed the Model 3 owner gunning the car over a flooded area, luckily ended with Tesla finding safe ground. This allowed the owner of the Model 3 and its passengers to escape from the flood waters safely.
Tesla is actually tested in a flood simulator at the Gigafactory Shanghai before being brought to delivery centers in China. The facility simulates flooded roads, and every Model 3 and Model Y manufactured at Giga Shanghai is put through a simulator before being shipped to delivery centers or abroad. This allows the company’s vehicles to be prepared for the many typhoons that typically hit China and surrounding regions each year.
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