What is it about crashes and destruction that so fascinates us human beings? That brings up all sorts of philosophical questions, like why do we create if we always end up destroying said creations? Are humans builders, or wreckers by nature? Or are we both? Such questions we will leave to philosophy majors as we enjoy two minutes of Tesla Model S crash tests. You’re welcome.
The Tesla Model S received 5 out of 5 stars in every single one of the NHTSA’s crash tests. This includes front impact, side impact, and rollover accidents, a recent addition to the testing procedure that is especially destructive. The Model S passed all of these tests with flying colors.
Because much of the drivetrain and control equipment is under the car, rather than in front of the passenger, Tesla engineers were able to really focus on passenger safety. The entire front end of the Model S was designed with safety in mind, as there is no engine to get in the way. This allows for things like straight double-octagonal steel rails designed to absorb the impact of crashes, contributing big time to the 5-star rating.
But it is the Model S battery that really helps the electric sedan stand apart from conventional cars in terms of safety. Whereas the fuel tank on most vehicles is a safety weak point, the Model S battery is a cornerstone of the safety system. The battery provides additional structural rigidity unavailable in most cars, and you can see in the underside footage of the crash test video how the battery absorbs a lot of the damage. The battery is compartmentalized and designed to protect the internal chemistry as well, automatically disconnecting from the rest of the car in case of a crash.
Despite attempts by right-wing media outlets to make electric cars seem dangerous, the inherent advantages of this electrc car designs can lead to both cleaner and safer cars overall. This 5-star safety rating for the Tesla Model S is just another feather in Elon Musk’s cap, but it is arguably the most important contribution electric cars can make to the market.