The electric-powered Tesla Model S is a technical tour de force that eschews gasoline and convention all in the name of being environmentally conscious. The vehicle has been hailed by many auto journalists as the most revolutionary in decades, but most critics and buyers focus their praise squarely on the car being a plug-in which is a feat but that praise also sells the car’s revolutionary chassis design short. While it is great that the Tesla electric vehicle offers a performance-oriented sedan that is quiet and offers owners a usable range, there are some other inherent advantages that the Tesla Model S has over gasoline and even other EVs. The placement of the Tesla Model S battery pack in the floor of the vehicle gives the revolutionary plug-in vehicle traits that make it appealing to enthusiasts and the safety-oriented alike.
Tesla Front Impact Protection
Think about a traditional car with an internal combustion engine. The engine is almost always placed directly in front of the driver unless you drive a high-dollar sports car where the engine is situated behind the driver. So, you have a few hundred pounds of metal and gasoline combusting just a few feet from your body. That actually seems kind of barbaric when you think of it, doesn’t it? Tesla places its batteries in the floor of its vehicle, freeing up the bonnet to act solely as a crash protection area without the need to engineer around an engine or motor that could compromise the cabin’s structural integrity and harm the driver in the event of a crash. This set up allows for the highest level of front impact protection the world has ever seen.
Tesla Model S Gains Traction
One of the issues that car designers must reckon with is traction. The traditional front-engine layout creates a conundrum for automotive engineers. If they go with rear-wheel drive, they risk creating a situation where traction is lost in wet conditions. Front-wheel drive cars solve this problem but create other issues that are fundamentally at odds with the traits enthusiasts lust after in vehicles. Most EVs like the Nissan Leaf still place the battery and electric motor under the hood, or bonnet, but Tesla places the heavy battery pack in the vehicle’s floor, ensuring that engineers don’t have to design around the issue of placing weight over the drive wheels. The placement of the Model S battery cells solves yet another decades old problem of automotive design. Spread the weight out across the floor of the car instead of engineering around a weight-biased system.
Tesla Weight Distribution
Another inherent advantage that the Tesla Model S has over cars powered by internal combustion engines and other electric cars has to do with weight distribution. Car designers spend countless hours trying to achieve a 50/50 weigh distribution in order to create balanced handling characteristics. When you have a 400-pound engine and a 150-pound transmission set up in the front of a vehicle and the drive wheels in the back, designers are forced to tinker with difficult decisions to evenly distribute that weight across the vehicle. Tesla’s Model S with its floor-mounted battery cells creates an inherently balanced platform for the plug-in car.
Model S Center of Gravity
Engines positioned above the axle place a good deal of weight relatively high in the vehicle structure, especially when you consider that most engines easily weigh over 300 pounds. Most electric vehicles still follow the old internal combustion engine mold and place the electric motor weight in the front of the car, above the front axle. The Tesla Model S battery cells are built into the floor of the vehicle, giving the Tesla Model S EV a low center of gravity which reduces body roll and the risk of rollover.
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