Shields up: Tesla Model S gains (free) titanium and aluminum armor upgrade

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Model S 1, concrete block 0. Tesla Motors founder Elon Musk has taken to Medium.com to post about a design change to the expensive-but-awesome Model S electric car: all Model S vehicles manufactured after March 6, 2014 will come with additional titanium and aluminum armor on their underbellies. The Model S carries its thousands of battery cells in a sealed enclosure below the floorpan, and the added armor is intended to protect the enclosure from puncture even under extreme conditions. This in turn should reduce the chances of Model S vehicles catching on fire. Not that the cars catching on fire is much of a thing; Musk is quick to point out that there have been only two Tesla fires resulting from road accidents (one of which involved a Model S being driven at 110 miles per hour directly into—and then through—a concrete wall), versus hundreds of thousands of gasoline vehicle fires last year. Nonetheless, Musk has directed his company to improve the car’s battery armor in an effort to assure customers (and investors) that the Model S really and truly isn’t going to burst into flames if you drive over a curb. The new armor takes the form of a three-part system: there’s a big hollow aluminum bar to deflect objects, a large titanium plate to absorb impacts, and an angled aluminum extrusion to cause the car to “ramp up and over” objects that can’t be crushed or flung aside. Read 2 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Shields up: Tesla Model S gains (free) titanium and aluminum armor upgrade

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