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Battery protection against mechanical damage

Discussion in 'Model S: Battery & Charging' started by Mario Kadastik, Sep 10, 2013.

  1. Mario Kadastik

    Mario Kadastik Active Member

    Sep 5, 2013
    Rae, Harjumaa, Estonia
    So I'm curious as to what kind of protection is in place for the battery from down below. As I understand the side, front and rear impacts are unlikely to damage it due to its central location and being part of the cars superstructure, but damage from below is realistic. If driven outside of smooth asphalt roads like icy roads in winter where a chunk of ice might very well be on the road or if the road is iced and the tire tracks are below the central area meaning that it's not uncommon to get hits to the lower part of the car. Second region would be driving on forest roads to get to some more secluded locations that don't have tarmac or gravel. In those conditions the road does go up and down and might well have stumps or roots from trees that might hit the underside.

    So the question is what is already in place to protect the most expensive component and what can be added? I know that my Evo X has also some delicate components that can lead to heavy damages and losses I've for example gone for a carbon fiber panzer that is installed below the car. It starts from front bumper protecting it against curb damage and extends to about 2/3 of the car covering the engine underside and therefore most of the possible damage. And I know that it has some serious gouges already from dents from road conditions. So somewhat worried about what could happen to the battery. As I understood from someones comments about delivery there was some battery cover damage from unloading from the truck so that's not helping with the damage anxiety :)

    Comments and ideas welcome. If someone can look below their MS to see weather a panzer might be install-able would also help.
  2. mknox

    mknox Well-Known Member

    Aug 7, 2012
    Toronto, ON
    Good question. I busted an oil pan years ago just going over a speed bump that was essentially too high. Even my old GMC Jimmy had a steel "skid plate" under the engine's oil pan. I wonder how rigid that battery structure is?
  3. XrstalLens

    XrstalLens Model S P1327 VIN P01867

    Dec 30, 2011
    Kirkland, WA
    I remember Elon and others saying that they have extensively designed and tested the pack for mechanical intrusion and impact, and the under surface is extremely robust. If I remember right, the bottom of the pack is basically a huge skid plate and extremely tough. I wasn't able to find any specific quotes in a brief search, but here is a presentation Tesla put together describing the kinds of conditions they designed and tested the battery pack for:

    You don't have anything to worry about in terms of hitting something underneath, and certainly don't need to add any protection.

    If you want to hear Peter Rawlinson talking about the rigidity of the battery, watch video #3 on this page:
  4. mnx

    mnx 2013 P85

    May 6, 2009
    Ancaster, Canada
    I think I may have bottomed out the car a couple times :redface:

    First time I didn't see a median/curb in a parking lot and drove right over it. The second time I passed somebody on the right (who was turning left) and managed to find the biggest pothole known to man on the edge of the road. Both times there was a loud thud/scraping noise. (I'm glad I have 19" tires.) No damage to report here. :)

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