Flood and electric car: what happens? Vaielettrico answers

With real flooding, what happens to an electric car like this Tesla Model 3?

Flood and electric car: what happens if it rains heavily and the roads become worryingly flooded? A reader, Michele, asks us. Vaielelektrisk he answers.

high-speed and electric car

Flood and electric car: Michele has to cross a ford to get out of the house …

LMy car is almost worn out and I would like to replace it with an electric one. I live in the country though, and to get in and out of the house I have to transit through a ford. In summer it is dry, but in winter and in the rainy season it fills up. To give an idea, during heavy rain it can reach 50 cm deep, although it is at a very short distance, while the level is usually a few cm. I do not have an SUV or a pickup and have never had any issues. Obviously, I do not move or leave the car outside when the situation is more critical, by using a pedestrian crossing. But leaving it outside would also mean it could not be recharged at home. I therefore tried to inform myself to understand Bev-cars behavior in relation to high water. And I found various videos of Tesla which moves quite easily under critical conditions (although no consequences are known). Little or nothing on all other models. My question is: it is a test that the car manufacturers are doing (also for safety reasons for the waterproofing of the batteries, etc.)? Is the car’s behavior verified under these conditions? Or does no house issue any “note” about it and you just have to rely on common sense?“. Michele.

Flood and electric cars: fear largely unfounded

high-speed and electric car
A water test conducted by the American magazine Motor Trend with a Nissan Leaf.
Reply. There are two main issues related to the safety of electric cars. Which means: the risk of firein case of an accident, and fear it water infiltration they can turn off the battery in case of heavy rain. To the first question, they have already given a comforting answer the many crash tests performed on electrical models from Euro NCAP, the official body at European level. On the second point, fears among motorists remain very strong: a survey conducted by the British insurance company LV = Insurance found it 12% of motorists he even believes that an electrician cannot be driven in rainy weather. And many people think it’s a good rule of thumb not to bring electric cars to a car wash washing station. It is unfounded fear: as the same has pointed out several times Elon Musk, founder of Tesla, electric car drives and batteries are sealed. And it’s not just about his cars.

high-speed and electric cars“Electric vehicles do not have an air intake and therefore …”

But what if the rain is such that a certain amount of water stagnates on the road? It is generally believed that they are enough 300 mm. or a little more so that the car starts to float and is no longer steerable … When an internal combustion car drives through high tide, very unpleasant things can happen. That air intake mounted at the bottom, they suck the water directly into the engine intake, starving it with air and blocking it. Also the blockage of the exhaust pipes, which is placed a few cm. from the ground in the back of the car it has violent effects. However, what happens to an electric? The question was asked by the English magazine Express by Jaguar to I-Pace. Car which, incidentally, has a wading depth of 500 mm. and have safety systems designed to handle flood situations. Reply: “Precautions must be taken when driving through stagnant water in any car. However, electric vehicles they do not have one snorkel. Which means that the propulsion system is not affected by being immersed in water like a traditional engine“.

The degree of protection of the battery is very high

On Youtube, you can watch this video, recorded a few years ago in Kazakhstan, which shows a Tesla driving smoothly on a heavily flooded road.

Basics: When an undamaged electric vehicle floats down a flooded road or river, its electrical components are well sealed. And it is quite unlikely that they will pose an electrical hazard to its occupants. These components, especially those in the high voltage parts of the engine, cruise control and battery, have a degree of protection IP66 or higher. Levels 6 means’protected from strong water jets‘(8 is the highest protection score, submarine thing). The situation naturally changes if the car is damaged in the sections of the high-voltage electrical system. In this case, a number of security and protection systems come into use. In the event of a collision, the automatic disconnection of the high-voltage electrical system takes place via a shock sensor (found in all modern cars). Thus, the presence of high voltage is limited only inside the battery. And there is another security, too debugging system to the earth.


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