Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Transportation

Tesla Model S Gets Titanium Underbody Shield, Aluminum Deflector Plates 314

Posted by Soulskill
from the responding-to-a-challenge dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Tesla Motors made headlines several times last year for a few Model S car fires. Elon Musk criticized all the attention at the time, pointing out that it was disproportionate to the 200,000 fires in gas-powered cars over the same period. Musk didn't stop there, though. He's announced that the Model S will now have a titanium underbody shield along with an aluminum bar and extrusion. He says this will prevent debris struck on the road from breaching the battery area. Musk offered this amusing example: 'We believe these changes will also help prevent a fire resulting from an extremely high speed impact that tears the wheels off the car, like the other Model S impact fire, which occurred last year in Mexico. This happened after the vehicle impacted a roundabout at 110 mph, shearing off 15 feet of concrete curbwall and tearing off the left front wheel, then smashing through an eight foot tall buttressed concrete wall on the other side of the road and tearing off the right front wheel, before crashing into a tree. The driver stepped out and walked away with no permanent injuries and a fire, again limited to the front section of the vehicle, started several minutes later. The underbody shields will help prevent a fire even in such a scenario.' Included with the article are several animated pictures of testing done with the new underbody, which survives running over a trailer hitch, a concrete block, and an alternator."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Tesla Model S Gets Titanium Underbody Shield, Aluminum Deflector Plates

Comments Filter:
  • by peon_a-z,A-Z,0-9$_+! (2743031) on Friday March 28, 2014 @11:06AM (#46602851)

    We're here dealing in the realm of engineering + political risk = decisions.

    There is a risk, but you can't say it was an engineering risk and just a political one.

  • by MattGWU (86623) on Friday March 28, 2014 @11:14AM (#46602939)

    I thought it was pretty funny as an absurdist thing. "Yes, our car caught fire after crashing through a wall at 110 MPH, an unfortunate weakness in our battery-powered vehicle which any other car would have obviously brushed aside - the driver was fine, by the way." / "Yes, our cars catch fire after merely crashing through a wall, another wall, and a tree, after which the driver walked away...we suck :( "

  • by badboy_tw2002 (524611) on Friday March 28, 2014 @11:25AM (#46603059)

    If you have to ask, you weren't going to buy one anyways.

  • PR smackdown (Score:5, Insightful)

    by HeckRuler (1369601) on Friday March 28, 2014 @11:26AM (#46603069)

    You know, I usually detest any sort of PR speak. That sort of bullshit where they desperately try to spin negative news to their advantage. It's just something I've come to expect from corporations and politicians.

    But this?

    We believe these changes will also help prevent a fire resulting from an extremely high speed impact that tears the wheels off the car, like the other Model S impact fire, which occurred last year in Mexico. This happened after the vehicle impacted a roundabout at 110 mph, shearing off 15 feet of concrete curbwall and tearing off the left front wheel, then smashing through an eight foot tall buttressed concrete wall on the other side of the road and tearing off the right front wheel, before crashing into a tree. The driver stepped out and walked away with no permanent injuries and a fire, again limited to the front section of the vehicle, started several minutes later. The underbody shields will help prevent a fire even in such a scenario.

    That is some mighty fine PR smackdown.
    Sure, there were other fires, but this one they got covered.

    Can we please move to the post-bullshit era where authenticity is expected?

  • Re:"extrusion"? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by hawguy (1600213) on Friday March 28, 2014 @11:28AM (#46603095)

    What happened to the 3D printing revolution?

    It's more of an evolution than a revolution. Give it time. But it still won't be the right tool for every job.

  • Re:Sounds like (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 28, 2014 @11:33AM (#46603165)

    This happened after the vehicle impacted a roundabout at 110 mph, shearing off 15 feet of concrete curbwall and tearing off the left front wheel, then smashing through an eight foot tall buttressed concrete wall on the other side of the road and tearing off the right front wheel, before crashing into a tree. The driver stepped out and walked away with no permanent injuries

    Sounds like a scene from "the A team", where I would have been saying "that's so unrealistic"!

    The Tesla Model S sounds like a tank. I needs a tank to traverse these pot-hole-riddled roadways. Where's the ammunition stored?

  • Re:"extrusion"? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MaWeiTao (908546) on Friday March 28, 2014 @12:03PM (#46603529)

    I don't understand why people see every new bit of technology like it's some magical panacea, ready for mass consumption the instant they learn of its existence.

    You wouldn't try to print 100,000 books on an ink jet printer. While you might do mockups on that ink jet, you'd have the actual run output on a printing press. 3D printing is the same exact thing. Great for prototyping, but too slow, inefficient and expensive for mass production. That may change some day, but currently were a ways away from that being feasible.

  • by kamakazi (74641) on Friday March 28, 2014 @12:21PM (#46603675)

    Did anyone else notice those seem to be successive tests on the same car? In the alternator test you see a fastener toward the back of the belly plate gets loosened, in the trailer hitch test you see the fastener actually come out, then in the concrete block test you see the belly plate actually flap under impact, and you can see what appears to be the hole that fastener came from.

    I am fairly impressed that, not only did they do real world tests (which do fall short of shearing off wheels and battering through concrete walls) but they apparently did not put the car on a lift and return it to perfect condition between successive tests.

    That makes the test a bit more real world like, cars get driven and accumulate wear and tear, so they are not necessarily going to be in factory mint condition when they hit something.

    You get the feeling, regardless of what you think of Musk or the car, that he is very proud of that car, and it appears justifiably so. Yes, he is defensive when the press screams disaster and trumpets doom and gloom about the car, but he doesn't ever try to hide from the press or try to spin the reports, instead he makes a change to improve the car, then does his spin on his own terms.

    Obviously titanium might be a bit pricey for the "cheap" Tesla when it arrives, but I bet the anti-penetration armor design will be there, even if it ends up being constructed of less expensive materials.

    In this way the response to the overhyped Tesla accidents and fires will help us all in the long run, just like the German automakers pioneered crash simulation in the 80s and 90s, and now all cars have crumple zones.

  • Re:Titanium? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by gnick (1211984) on Friday March 28, 2014 @12:34PM (#46603813) Homepage

    If you're driving your Tesla at 110mph, you probably don't care what catches on fire as long as it's not you.

  • Re:"extrusion"? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 28, 2014 @01:50PM (#46604709)

    Extrusion *IS* "3D printed" with a massively parallel head that can print the entire cross-section all at once. It has been optimized to "print" something with an uniform cross-sectional area. Same can be said about pasta machine. :)

    Welcome to Tomorrow done yesterday.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 28, 2014 @03:05PM (#46605301)

    And this is different than a Chevy Suburban or any number of gas-powered cars how? Would it be better if he made the more fragile so they disintegrate at impact?

  • Re:Titanium? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by slinches (1540051) on Friday March 28, 2014 @03:16PM (#46605405)

    That's probably still quite a bit better than having an internal combustion engine with all sorts of parts hot enough to ignite that same grass.

  • Re:"extrusion"? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by KDN (3283) on Friday March 28, 2014 @03:19PM (#46605423)

    50k tons is indeed huge,

    Huge isn't the word. The battleship USS New Jersey is 58,000 tons, Empty its 48K tons. Can you imagine bench pressing a battleship?

A rock store eventually closed down; they were taking too much for granite.

Working...