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Stealing a Model S/X battery

Discussion in 'Model S: Battery & Charging' started by widodh, Jan 26, 2017.

  1. widodh

    widodh Model S 85kWh

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    I found this old thread: Car battery thefts from hybrid cars on the rise in San Francisco

    This applies to both S/X but posting in the S forum since that's what I have.

    With more and more people hacking Model S and X it could be that a aftermarket shops start to do interesting things. Maybe even fitting bigger/new battery packs in older cars.

    Now, it's not so hard to remove the battery of a Model S/X. Jack it with 4 jacks, put a trolly underneath it and unscrew the battery.

    Do we think we will see batteries being stolen from Model S/X out there?
     
  2. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    Easier to steal the car. Load it on a flatbed.
     
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  3. widodh

    widodh Model S 85kWh

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    True, can be tracked though. You'd need to jam the signal.

    But maybe, steal the car and sell the battery. Harder to track then just the car.
     
  4. Haxster

    Haxster Member

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    I would be surprised if each battery pack didn't have a unique electronic identifier. This could make finding a stolen battery installed in a Tesla vehicle easy for the Tesla mothership to find.

    And it's also likely that if the internal control electronics is swapped between two battery packs, a tamper alert would be triggered that only Tesla could clear.
     
  5. Tomasz

    Tomasz Member

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    Isn't that called serial number?
     
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  6. emir-t

    emir-t Member

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    They might want to disconnect the HV systems before unscrewing the battery. Accessing the hv system cutoff point could be trick as it is under the hood, behind the frunk cover. If you have that much access to the car and no one is around to see you doing that type of worn, vehicle is virtually stolen anyway.
     
  7. sorka

    sorka Active Member

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    Yes, but I think he was making the distinction between a serial number simply stamped on the battery vs one that communicates that over the bus to the MCU and then immediately notifies Tesla of the location the stolen battery just came online and then Tesla notifies the authorities :rolleyes:
     
  8. widodh

    widodh Model S 85kWh

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    I wonder if Tesla also build this into the vehicles. We do not know.
     
  9. agloutney

    agloutney Member

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    Just get a TAG installed. Problem solved.
     
  10. Tomasz

    Tomasz Member

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    I would be surprised if the battery's firmware didn't have serial number coded and available.

    Having said that - if somebody was savvy enough to be able to pull it off, they would probably find a way to override that number.

    Also that doesn't take care of the energy storage market.
     
  11. S'toon

    S'toon Knows where his towel is

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  12. sorka

    sorka Active Member

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    Override it to what? Another serial number? One that already exists in abother actively connected tesla? one that doesn't exist in their system at all? more importantly if they tracking Vin / battery serial number pairings its hard to imagine what you would override?
     
  13. Tomasz

    Tomasz Member

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    With the number of the battery being replaced. That way the pair VIN - battery S/N will match.
     
  14. jelloslug

    jelloslug Active Member

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    A Prius battery weighs about 150 lbs. A Tesla battery weighs about 1000 lbs. That's the big difference.
     
  15. sorka

    sorka Active Member

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    Not if the BMS is reporting a different size they won't.
     
  16. jobrien70

    jobrien70 Member

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    This is similar to what happens with all very popular mass market cars. Think Civic back in the '80-90s. The Prius is the most popular battery containing car ever made, with many very old car out in the market. Toyota probably didn't put any thought on battery security (similar to Civics back then) and almost definitely won't retrofit any to existing models, so it's open season for thieves and chop shops.

    With Tesla S/X, I'm inclined to think this will be a niche market. With the continuous firmware upgrade, Tesla has the capability to keep patching obvious weaknesses (such as adding battery serial number checks). At a S/X price point, the thieves would rather steal the whole car than just the batteries, and be should be more sophisticated than the article above (who sells on Craigslist for 10 cents on the dollar).
     
  17. Tomasz

    Tomasz Member

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    Only if we're talking upgrades. If I simply want to replace my 250k miles 85 pack with 30k miles 85 pack there will be no difference from the ECU point of view.
     

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