Tesla adopts titanium underbelly to fight battery fires

Tesla CEO Elon Musk on Friday announced the addition of a titanium shield and multiple aluminum deflectors to the undercarriage of their Model S to help cut down on the risk of battery fires caused by running over objects on the road. It’s a real concern as a handful of Model S vehicles have caught fire in recent memory after striking metallic objects in the roadway at highway speeds. 

After a series of fires last fall put Tesla in the news, CEO Elon Musk went on the defensive, pointing out that his company’s cars — which scored high in crash testing and still haven’t been involved in a single fatality — were getting called out for the wrong reasons. Still, understanding that perception can often turn into reality, Musk and the engineers at Tesla quietly went about seeing if they could improve the safety of the Model S even further, to cut the fire risk down. The result, which Musk announced today in a blog post on Medium consists of a new titanium shield and multiple aluminum deflectors. According to Musk, “[T]here is no safer car on the road than a Tesla. The addition of the underbody shields simply takes it a step further.”

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