Boat Mode in China

FutureBoy

Well-known member
First Name
Reginald
Joined
Oct 1, 2020
Messages
1,389
Reaction score
2,046
Location
Kirkland WA USA
Vehicles
Toyota Sienna
Occupation
Private Lending Educator
Country flag
Tesla Model 3’s “boat mode” videos are frightening and amazing at the same time


BySimon Alvarez
Posted on July 25, 2021

Any driver who has ever encountered floods knows just how unnerving the experience could be. Those who have driven a manual car through a flooded road would likely remember how tricky it was to balance the throttle on second gear to ensure that water does not enter the exhaust pipe. Those who have driven older automatic cars would likely remember how cautious they had to drive to avoid water getting on the computer box.

Mistakes when wading through water could cause a car to stall. And in a flood, stalling means trouble. Lots and lots of trouble.


The recent rains in China have shown scenes of vehicles stranded in the middle of flooded streets. Such sights are not uncommon in the country, or any other place in the Asian region for that matter. In places that are visited by dozens of hurricanes or typhoons every year, seeing cars stalled due to floodwaters is not anything new. What is new is seeing a breed of vehicles that could brave the waters without stalling.

What’s amazing is that these vehicles are not massive, modified SUVs fitted with snorkels and all-terrain wheels. They’re sleek, Tesla Model 3 sedans — low on the ground, armed to the teeth with tech, and unashamedly all-electric. This has caused some social media users to dub Teslas’ capability to handle flooded streets as “Boat Mode,” in lieu of their remarkable ability to wade through water and Elon Musk’s previous comments on Twitter.


Videos of “Boat Mode” Tesla Model 3s have garnered quite a number of views on social media platforms over the past few days. The clips of the all-electric vehicle typically showed the MIC Model 3 taking on the country’s floods and surviving, while other cars on the roads were stranded. This was most evident in a video from China’s Henan province, which showed a Model 3 seemingly going full throttle in deep floodwaters.

The short clip was impressive, especially as the vehicle arguably looked very cool as it attacked the flooded street aggressively. Later reports of the incident revealed the harrowing past behind the clip. As per local reports, the Model 3 in the clip was actually coming out of a flooded tunnel where some vehicles were already trapped. This suggested that the driver was likely pushing the Model 3 through the waters out of fear.


Other videos of Tesla’s unofficial “Boat Mode” in action featured a Made-in-China Model 3 wading through a flooded highway with absolutely no issues. The video was short as well, but it showed that the all-electric sedan was functioning just fine as it overtook cars in the middle of a flood. Another video was even more shocking, as it reportedly showed the all-electric sedan fording through some heavily flooded streets in Zheng Zhou City.

Being made in a country that typically experiences floods on a regular basis, Tesla China’s Model 3s are built with water wading capabilities in mind. This is highlighted in Gigafactory Shanghai’s simulator for flooded roads, which is used on both the Model 3 and the Model Y.
Advertisement

 
OP
OP
FutureBoy

FutureBoy

Well-known member
First Name
Reginald
Joined
Oct 1, 2020
Messages
1,389
Reaction score
2,046
Location
Kirkland WA USA
Vehicles
Toyota Sienna
Occupation
Private Lending Educator
Country flag
I'm wondering about how Cybertruck will handle boat mode. With the ability to stretch its height, plus its supposed ability to float I'm guessing the CT could handle the situations in the Twitter videos fairly easily.


Thing is though, water over a roadway is a very serious and dangerous condition. For all you know, the roadway itself may have completely washed out and possibly turned into a roaring river canyon. So I'd very much not recommend driving through those conditions.

However, the second Twitter video in the story above is supposed to be of a Tesla vehicle that was in a tunnel that started flooding very quickly. Other vehicles were trapped in the tunnel and a number of the people in those vehicles were reported to have perished. In those conditions, I would very much be happy to own a Tesla and even more to own a Cybertruck that might be able to get me out of the situation where an ICE vehicle would fail miserably.
 

beeeasybro

Well-known member
First Name
Quinn
Joined
Aug 5, 2020
Messages
81
Reaction score
93
Location
Alexandria
Vehicles
Avalon,Outback, and previously Grand Cherokee
Occupation
Boat Captain
Country flag
Tesla Model 3’s “boat mode” videos are frightening and amazing at the same time


BySimon Alvarez
Posted on July 25, 2021

Any driver who has ever encountered floods knows just how unnerving the experience could be. Those who have driven a manual car through a flooded road would likely remember how tricky it was to balance the throttle on second gear to ensure that water does not enter the exhaust pipe. Those who have driven older automatic cars would likely remember how cautious they had to drive to avoid water getting on the computer box.

Mistakes when wading through water could cause a car to stall. And in a flood, stalling means trouble. Lots and lots of trouble.


The recent rains in China have shown scenes of vehicles stranded in the middle of flooded streets. Such sights are not uncommon in the country, or any other place in the Asian region for that matter. In places that are visited by dozens of hurricanes or typhoons every year, seeing cars stalled due to floodwaters is not anything new. What is new is seeing a breed of vehicles that could brave the waters without stalling.

What’s amazing is that these vehicles are not massive, modified SUVs fitted with snorkels and all-terrain wheels. They’re sleek, Tesla Model 3 sedans — low on the ground, armed to the teeth with tech, and unashamedly all-electric. This has caused some social media users to dub Teslas’ capability to handle flooded streets as “Boat Mode,” in lieu of their remarkable ability to wade through water and Elon Musk’s previous comments on Twitter.


Videos of “Boat Mode” Tesla Model 3s have garnered quite a number of views on social media platforms over the past few days. The clips of the all-electric vehicle typically showed the MIC Model 3 taking on the country’s floods and surviving, while other cars on the roads were stranded. This was most evident in a video from China’s Henan province, which showed a Model 3 seemingly going full throttle in deep floodwaters.

The short clip was impressive, especially as the vehicle arguably looked very cool as it attacked the flooded street aggressively. Later reports of the incident revealed the harrowing past behind the clip. As per local reports, the Model 3 in the clip was actually coming out of a flooded tunnel where some vehicles were already trapped. This suggested that the driver was likely pushing the Model 3 through the waters out of fear.


Other videos of Tesla’s unofficial “Boat Mode” in action featured a Made-in-China Model 3 wading through a flooded highway with absolutely no issues. The video was short as well, but it showed that the all-electric sedan was functioning just fine as it overtook cars in the middle of a flood. Another video was even more shocking, as it reportedly showed the all-electric sedan fording through some heavily flooded streets in Zheng Zhou City.

Being made in a country that typically experiences floods on a regular basis, Tesla China’s Model 3s are built with water wading capabilities in mind. This is highlighted in Gigafactory Shanghai’s simulator for flooded roads, which is used on both the Model 3 and the Model Y.
Maybe I’ll add an electric propeller to the hitch for a little extra push. This would be an awesome amphibious vehicle!
 

Ogre

Well-known member
First Name
Dennis
Joined
Jul 3, 2021
Messages
1,795
Reaction score
3,303
Location
Ogregon
Vehicles
Model Y
Country flag
I think these folks were just trying to escape to dry ground. Lots of other cars out there —mostly stuck— as well.

Looks like most of these are about 2 feet deep which is just about floorboard height on the Cybertruck with the suspension raised. Maybe a little higher. Another good reason to not have carpet on the floorboardS.
 

JBee

Well-known member
First Name
JB
Joined
Nov 22, 2019
Messages
434
Reaction score
435
Location
6000
Vehicles
Cybertruck
Country flag
Yes and no.

Water fording is a dynamic sport with competing factors.

Buoyancy is not your friend when fording. You need to have traction to move the vehicle across to where you want to go. So as soon as the water touches the underside of your car it will start reducing the traction of your wheels. Spinning wheels will reduce that traction, making rooster tails like in the video won't help either.

In a CT the extra ground clearance will help here, because only the wheels would be submersed in the water levels shown in the videos. That will mean half decent traction (depending on the ground) which will help.

If the water is fast flowing however, things change again, and this is where the surface area exposed to the flow direction plays a roll. So once again a low car would be "broadsided" and pushed away. Ideally you drive upstream to ford if you have enough clearance.

Then there's crossing speed, wake effect and pushing a wave. You can partially overcome some buoyancy, by driving at a speed through the water that the water pushes up onto your front hood. This adds downforce to the front wheels creating more traction, and reduces the height of water around the vehicle which reduces buoyancy because the rear is in the wake of the front. This is what you see in the last video, and is the best way to ford, if it is not to deep. That is why you should always just walk ahead in those shallow depths to test, then turn back at lower thigh height, and look for an alternative path.

The pushing a wave technique is similar to the above, but what you do is you quickly tap the brakes to create a separate wave in front of the car and then drive a reduced bow wave in front of the car (rally cars do this).

As for a floating boat mode CT, this would only be useful in a flooding situation without rapidly flowing water, or with some decent propulsion system onboard that could overcome the flow of water. In that case it's likely better to pull up the wheels of the CT and drive it like a boat using that propulsion. Technically you could put a 240V 10kW trolling motor on the back, or under the rear underbed storage and connect it to the onboard inverter with a VSD. It would work, but you might need more power depending on how fast the water is flowing.

In general do not cross flowing water, unless you know from previous experience what you are doing.
 
OP
OP
FutureBoy

FutureBoy

Well-known member
First Name
Reginald
Joined
Oct 1, 2020
Messages
1,389
Reaction score
2,046
Location
Kirkland WA USA
Vehicles
Toyota Sienna
Occupation
Private Lending Educator
Country flag
Tesla Model S takes “boat mode” a bit too far by going full “submarine edition”

BySimon Alvarez
Posted on August 22, 2021
It’s quite common knowledge by now — especially amidst the popular Model 3 “boat mode” videos from China — that Teslas handle floods quite well. But while a Tesla’s battery and powertrain are sealed tight, there are levels of water that may still prove a bit too dangerous or risky.

This was definitely the case in a recent incident involving a Tesla Model S in Helen, Georgia, earlier this month. Helen was hit by a lot of rainfall recently due to Tropical Storm Fred. As noted by local news reports, White County officials were busy most of Tuesday, August 17 with storm-related issues such as power outages and flooding. Helen, in particular, saw some of its streets flooded by overflowing water from the Chattahoochee River.




It was in one of these streets that a Tesla Model S owner decided to brave the deep waters. But unlike his fellow electric vehicle owners in China who take their Model 3s across flooded streets that were up to their vehicles’ wheel arches, the Model S owner seemed to go even further. At one point during the all-electric sedan’s foray into the flooded street, the waters were so deep that the Model S didn’t look like it was in “boat mode” anymore. Instead, it seemed like the vehicle was already in “submarine mode.”

Such a stunt, of course, is not really recommended, and one can only imagine the repair bill of the Model S if its trip through the floodwaters went sideways. Fortunately for the Tesla owner, though, the all-electric sedan seemed to have weathered the floodwaters fairly well, as it seemed to cross the area unscathed. Videos taken of the vehicle during its crossing revealed that some motorists were quite amazed at the feat.

Elon Musk has mentioned in the past that Teslas can actually work as impromptu boats for short periods of time. This was demonstrated in China back in July when a Model 3 owner used his all-electric sedan to get out of a flooded tunnel that was already filled with other vehicles that were shut down due to the rising waters. The dramatic video, which featured the Model 3 owner gunning the car across a flooded area, fortunately ended with the Tesla finding safe ground. This allowed the Model 3 owner and his passengers to flee from the floodwaters safely.

Teslas in China are actually tested in a flood simulator in Gigafactory Shanghai before they are brought over to delivery centers. The facility simulates flooded streets, and every Model 3 and Model Y manufactured in Giga Shanghai are put through the simulator before they are sent to delivery centers or abroad. This allows the company’s vehicles to be ready for the numerous typhoons that typically hit China and nearby regions every year.
 
OP
OP
FutureBoy

FutureBoy

Well-known member
First Name
Reginald
Joined
Oct 1, 2020
Messages
1,389
Reaction score
2,046
Location
Kirkland WA USA
Vehicles
Toyota Sienna
Occupation
Private Lending Educator
Country flag
Tesla Model X pays the price after protecting owner from Hurricane Ida’s flash floods


simon-alvarez-avatar-80x80.jpg

BySimon Alvarez
Posted on September 5, 2021

Facing a flash flood is a terrifying experience that any decent person would not wish upon their worst enemy. The panic that one feels as the floodwaters rapidly rise and the sensation of being submerged in a thick current of filthy liquid is enough to give full-grown adults some legitimate trauma. Being caught in a flash flood is incredibly scary, but if a 2016 Model X owner’s recent experience is any indication, it would appear that encountering floods in a Tesla is slightly less terrifying.

A recent post in a Model X Facebook Group featured the remarkable story of a Tesla owner who ended up being on the receiving end of Hurricane Ida’s fury. While driving through Central Jersey to Pennsylvania on Wednesday night, the Model X owner suddenly found himself in flooded roads. And much to the electric car owner’s horror, it did not take long before the water had risen as high as the Model X’s windows.

model-x-underside-flood.jpg
The Model X’s underbody after its run-in with Hurricane Ida. (Credit: Anthony Purzycki/Facebook)


Around the Model X, other vehicles stopped working, stranded and consumed by the floodwaters. Two other cars succumbed to the current and floated away. It was a desperate situation, but much to the pleasant surprise of the Tesla owner, the valiant Model X never shut down. The all-electric vehicle, likely due to its weight and watertight battery and powertrain, powered through and ultimately helped its owner return home to his family safely.

The Model X owner was able to get home safe, thanks in no small part to the all-electric SUV. But upon waking up the next day, the Tesla owner realized that the valiant Model X also paid the price. Parts were missing from underneath the vehicle, and the Model X’s carpeting was fully soaked. In his Facebook post, the Model X owner noted that he had already scheduled an appointment with Tesla service, but he fears that the vehicle may end up being totaled due to water damage.

tesla-model-x-flash-flood.jpg
Credit: Anthony Purzycki/Facebook

The Tesla owner noted that as much as possible, he would prefer it if his 2016 Model X could still be repaired. As it is, the vehicle still runs and operates without any apparent issues, save for the wet interior and the missing parts underneath. Considering that the Model X was able to ensure that its owner got home safe despite Hurricane Ida’s flash floods, however, it would seem that the price the vehicle paid was well worth it.

Teslas are starting to gain a reputation as vehicles that could take on floodwaters very well. In China alone, unofficial Tesla “Boat Mode” videos have become popular online, with some clips showing Model 3s braving floodwaters that were deep enough to disable other vehicles on the road. Elon Musk, for his part, has remarked in the past that other Teslas like the Cybertruck would perform even better. According to the CEO, the Cybertruck would “float for a while” when traversing deep waters.
 
OP
OP
FutureBoy

FutureBoy

Well-known member
First Name
Reginald
Joined
Oct 1, 2020
Messages
1,389
Reaction score
2,046
Location
Kirkland WA USA
Vehicles
Toyota Sienna
Occupation
Private Lending Educator
Country flag
There really are getting to be a lot of Teslas in water stories out there.

Who would have known when EVs started coming out that one of the big benefits would be water crossings or water rescue.
 
Advertisement

 
Advertisement
Top