The Tesla Model S is packed to the brim with features, and a horrible accident in Germany a couple of months ago proved that it could also be the safest car ever, as its passengers were able to exit the electric vehicle without assistance from first responders.
Apparently, there is even more to the Tesla Model S, with Tesla Motors founder and CEO Elon Musk claiming that the electric vehicle can function as a boat.
In a tweet, Musk said that while it is not recommended, the Tesla Model S will be able to float well enough to transform into a boat for a short period of time if the need arises. The vehicle will be able to propel itself in the water through the rotation of its wheel.
The interesting tidbit was not tweeted by Musk out of the blue, however, as there was an incident where a Tesla Model S owner decided to drive the electric vehicle through a flooded tunnel in Kazakhstan.
Driving through floods is certainly not a safe thing to do, whether behind the wheel of an electric vehicle or a car with a combustion engine. The undercarriage of a vehicle, which either carries a battery pack or an exhaust line, could suffer damage from prolonged submersion in water, and car warranties and insurance rarely cover any damage caused by driving through floods.
Musk confirmed through Twitter that the drive units and the battery of the Tesla Model S are sealed, which makes the vehicle less vulnerable to damage from flooding compared to cars with internal combustion engines. While combustion-powered vehicles will stall in the water if they are not equipped with the engine snorkels as their air supply is cut off, the Tesla Model S can power through the water, as it does not need air intake.
That said, and to reiterate, driving through a flooded street is not a wise idea and should only be done when it is absolutely necessary. When all the pathways are flooded, the ideal thing to do is not to be out there with your car.
The lighthearted news on the Tesla Model S being able to function as a boat comes just as the vehicle finds itself in the middle of a controversy on an alleged suspension issue. Tesla Motors has claimed that there are no safety defects related to the Model S or the Model X electric vehicles, hinting that the issue was fabricated.