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Is Model S drivetrain waterproof?

Hi, everyone

I'm new on this forum but follow Tesla's news for a while. I have a question about a drivetrain. I hope someone can answer. As the topic, I want to know if Model S' electric motor waterproof. I'm quite sure that it can withstand car wash and running in the rain perfectly. But can it run on flooded road?

Fuel car can run in shallow water as long as it's not too high. If so, water could get into tailpipe and engine and destroy everything inside. And for purely electric car, in theory, if motor and battery are waterproof, it can run even when totally submerged. How high a water Model S can run through?

Hope you understand my question.

Chai Kee

Once again I have been inadequately precise. I was not concerned about physical damage due to mechanical trauma, I was concerned about damage to the battery due to water intrusion secondary to submersion.

However it appears that despite the fact that the battery could be, "quickly swapped out". It is nonetheless adequately sealed.

Signature 482

Of course the Tesla motor works under water - it is located right where the differential would live, a few inches above the road, so its going to get enormous amounts of water, regardless of whether one is driving in knee deep water or not. The electric pump motor for a gas powered car is immersed in the gasoline in the tank, as an example of an electric motor that lives its entire life immersed in a liquid. And the battery pack is watertight already since it is cooled by water being pumped thru it for cooling. Lose your fear of water and electricity - you already are driving a car that often has electrical parts submerged as you drive thru flooded streets.

I've given some thought to the possibility of the Tesla Drivetrain/Battery being applied to various nautical vessels, sail boats, water ski boats (Ski Nautiques), small lake fishing boats. The battery would make for an ideal ballast, no exhaust to contend with (for the skier), no smell of diesel, no oil in the bilge, no annoying engine noise and since these vessels have limited run times, range would not be a factor.
Ideal for Catamarans, perfect solar panel/wind generation vessels, and when under sail, "regen" could be managed through a reverse transmission propeller if the battery needed recharging. (The French built Catamaran by Fontaine Pagot would be an ideal candidate).

Dennis;
Very interesting. I wonder how many other applications of a rigid flat hi-capacity battery pack people could come up with ... ??

@Denis Vincent, there is actually a swiss company that specializes in boats like that (but they do not use Tesla's drive train):

News article (German)
http://www.spiegel.de/auto/aktuell/0,1518,785101,00.html

Manufacturer's website (English)
http://www.boesch-boats.ch/home-en/view?set_language=en

@My5bAby I see.

@Ramon123 I see your point but water and fuel is really different in this matter. You can use oil as liquid cooling for PC (with mainboard totally submerged) but you cannot use water. It's the same for electric motor. That why it's needed to be sealed.

@Volker.Berlin Really appreciate your connectivity! Lake Como must be abuzz with these beauties, now if only Tesla could get into the game....As for Ocean crossing and cruising sail boats, the concept of a rechargeable(solar, wind, regen), electric engine and huge power supply for on board electronics \logistics, makes for compelling considerations. Needless to say, not having to refuel would be a huge plus. In any case, I think Tesla has its hands full, and if they can deliver on the Model S, there are going to be a lot of seriously happy customers. I beleive that they have done a spectacular job of catering to our demands. In trying to be everything to everybody, there has been a recognizable effort on their part to design/engineer changes and add options that address many of the concerns that have been voiced in these forums, for example; Ground clearance, optional adjustable suspension; Roof rack, available option; Family sedan, 7seater option; Performance(kick ass), Sport option; Panoramic roof, infrared reduction coating; Center console, ??optional?? I fully expect that when they deliver on the final product, it will live up to most, if not all our reasonable expectations!

@Denis Vincent The only limitation is 300 miles is the farthest range, for now. It's more than enough for daily drive but insufficient for an infrequent longer trip.

Model S is sure not luxury car but absolutely premium, for those who needs to be distinguish and stylish. It's like someone who prefers VW Beetle over luxury cars.

Model S is superb in every way.

Or is it considered luxury?

There is entire thread discussing just that: What makes car luxury?

I think it is luxury if they get the interior right for production version. Currently it looks...cheap somehow.

@Timo I saw the thread you mentioned. It's difficult to put Model S into specific category. But I'm certain, luxury not, it's truly premium car for many reasons. Need to see the real production version to determine exact category.

I hope Tesla makes waterproofing test like Volt does, except they actually leave the car in so deep water that battery pack is completely submerged for hour or so. Maybe a 24hour to be sure that it really is waterproof. Considering that PEM, engine and battery pack are all liquid-cooled none of those should be in danger, but I'm less confident about connectors considering that battery pack is designed to be swappable. If it passes that test, then it should be drivable underwater.

option: scuba gear, fins and propellers to go submarine. Cost: $10k

@Timo The next James Bond Car will no doubt be a Tesla S 007.

As I said before, transformable car with road mode and water mode would be perfect.

The first flying submarine was born sometime during November 2012 in a Tesla forum. RIP

I'm hoping the adjustable air suspension will lift the car enough that you can drive it through water two feet deep. ;).
Is that how you do a smiley face on this site?

Three questions come to mind:
(1) What's the minimum speed to keep a water skiier up?
(2) What's the minimum water depth to keep a water skiier up?
(3) Can both (1) and (2) be achieved with an S for more than 1/4 mile?

Partial answers to (1) and (2) courtesy of web-surfing...

(1) < 14 mph
(2) < 4 ft. (some reports of < 2 ft. by boat briefly)

TM should offer a propeller option. It could be install on a "power take-off" from the differential/gearbox. Think of it-a modern day amphibicar.

Nah. MHD since it's already electric! Two jets, for steering.


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