Video: Elon Musk Says Tesla Model S Floats Like a Boat in an Emergency

By Jim Liao, Epoch Times
June 20, 2016 Updated: June 20, 2016

A YouTube video showing someone successfully driving a Tesla Model S electric car through about 3 feet of water has generated over 388,000 views.

Tesla Motors founder Elon Musk commented on the car’s boating attribute, essentially confirming the feature but downplaying widespread adoption.

“We *def* don’t recommended this, but Model S floats well enough to turn it into a boat for short periods of time. Thrust via wheel rotation,” Musk tweeted on June 19.

The phenomenon of an electric car floating on water seems strange at first. But, battery-powered vehicles don’t have an exhaust pipe—which is what causes problems for gas-powered cars. If the driver takes a foot off the accelerator while driving through water, the exhaust can flood and cut the engine. With electric vehicles, you also don’t have to worry about water getting into the engine, since there is no air intake.

However, whether you have a electrical or gasoline powered car, swimming with cars is still not recommended. Although the battery pack and various other parts are sealed in the Model S, there are other complications that make water submersion risky. For instance, electric vehicles use high-tech lithium batteries, which are highly flammable upon contact with air or water.

Musk keeps the innovations rolling in, though. A tweet on June 19 mentions a sports sub car. 

“If curious abt TSWLM car, am still planning to do a sports sub car that can drive on roads. Just a side project. Limited market potential,” Musk tweeted on June 19.