Tesla Adds Titanium to Model S Sedan

Tesla Adds Titanium to Model S Sedan

Tesla Motors Model S 310x

Current Tesla Model S owners can get the titanium underbody upgrade for free.

Tesla's Model S sedan is already considered to be one of the safest cars on the road, but Tesla is trying to make them even safer.

New Model S sedans will now ship with a redesigned protective underbody shield, most of which is made from aluminum and titanium. And if you already have a Model S parked in the driveway? Tesla will upgrade your ride, free of charge.

Why the change? In 2013, two Model S cars were involved in accidents that resulted in car fires. While no one in the aforementioned sedans were killed or seriously injured, there was a bit of a PR storm surrounding the fires.

"...we felt it was important to bring this risk down to virtually zero to give Model S owners complete peace of mind," said Tesla CEO Elon Musk in a post to the company blog. "Starting with vehicle bodies manufactured as of March 6, all cars have been outfitted with a triple underbody shield. Tesla service will also retrofit the shields, free of charge, to existing cars upon request or as part of a normally scheduled service."

The new shield is essentially an aluminum-titanium sandwich. The outermost layer is a "rounded, hollow aluminum bar" that is designed to deflect impact objects, or at least direct them away from the battery pack. The middle layer is a solid titanium plate, followed by a "shallow angle, solid aluminum extrusion."

Car fires should always be of concern, naturally, but a one-in-8,000 fire risk with zero fatalities or serious injuries is a pretty solid track record. Granted, there aren't nearly as many Tesla's on the road as there are gas-powered cars, but if Tesla keeps up on this safety kick, it wouldn't surprise me if the forthcoming Model X scored just as well with the NHTSA.

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Is that a feature to jack the price and keep it further out of the hands of the average consumer? I appreciate what Tesla is going for, I would love to have one except for a few things.

1. The monthly payment for the lowest model is $609/month. That is assuming you can get their 3.5% interest rate (which is not as low as regular car dealerships will go), and are putting 10% down, AND

2. That model only goes a paltry 208 miles to a charge. It's 315hp but only goes 120 mph (not that people need to even be going that fast, but you can get a car that has 95hp, has the same top speed, and you can get well over 300 miles on an 11 gallon tank of gas. In New Jersey that is roughly $32 for a tank of gas at current prices. I just got rid of a 1995 Honda Civic Hatchback

I guess the question is: Is the safety and environmental aspect of the car worth the average consumer going into the poorhouse? I would have to emphatically say NO.

I realize this is off topic, but it's a valid point considering that this is not typically the kind of subject matter that ends up on here.

Baresark:
Is that a feature to jack the price and keep it further out of the hands of the average consumer? I appreciate what Tesla is going for, I would love to have one except for a few things.

1. The monthly payment for the lowest model is $609/month. That is assuming you can get their 3.5% interest rate (which is not as low as regular car dealerships will go), and are putting 10% down, AND

2. That model only goes a paltry 208 miles to a charge. It's 315hp but only goes 120 mph (not that people need to even be going that fast, but you can get a car that has 95hp, has the same top speed, and you can get well over 300 miles on an 11 gallon tank of gas. In New Jersey that is roughly $32 for a tank of gas at current prices. I just got rid of a 1995 Honda Civic Hatchback

I guess the question is: Is the safety and environmental aspect of the car worth the average consumer going into the poorhouse? I would have to emphatically say NO.

I realize this is off topic, but it's a valid point considering that this is not typically the kind of subject matter that ends up on here.

This model is not for the average consumer. Electric cars for the masses is a long term goal for Tesla Motors, but it requires iterative design and sales to a successively less affluent customer base to get there. What you described is certainly out of my price range, but marginally less so than the original Roadster. While the price for the upcoming Model X hasn't been announced yet, the one after that is aiming for a $30,000 price tag, which puts it into the price range for "regular" people(though not me, I'm too poor to buy new cars).

Baresark:
Is that a feature to jack the price and keep it further out of the hands of the average consumer?

No. It's because a few Teslas have been hit by large random debris on the underside, damaging batteries and setting around two cars on fire. The Titanium is to prevent that from happening.

RA92:

Baresark:
Is that a feature to jack the price and keep it further out of the hands of the average consumer?

No. It's because a few Teslas have been hit by large random debris on the underside, damaging batteries and setting around two cars on fire. The Titanium is to prevent that from happening.

I know, I was being facetious. I read the article.

 

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