Consumer Reports has released a video that offers an up-close look at the new shielding Tesla has installed to protect the Model S battery pack from road debris.
As every EV lover (and hater) surely knows by now, in late 2013, two Model S caught fire after collisions with objects on the roadway punctured their battery packs. In March, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) closed a three-month investigation of the incidents, as Tesla added an underbody shield and implemented a software update that raised the car’s ride height.
In this new video, CU gives us a detailed description of the battery shield, removing an underbody panel to reveal the added parts. It turns out that the bottom of the battery pack has not been changed – it was already protected by a quarter-inch of ballistic-grade aluminum. Rather, Tesla added three pieces, one aluminum and one titanium, at the leading edge of the pack, which is where NHTSA determined that dangerous impacts can occur.
As far as we know, CU hasn’t yet determined whether the new shielding affects the car’s aerodynamics or handling, but a number of Model S owners have commented that they haven’t noticed any difference.
Source: Consumer Reports