One of the many questions or perhaps misconceptions that people have about electric cars is that they cannot go through even the most mild of floods. Naturally, people are concerned as flash floods seem to be becoming a regular issue here in Malaysia and common sense tells you that electricity and water do not mix.
However what many people aren’t aware of is that electric cars actually tend to fare better in flood conditions compared to internal combustion engine cars. This is because an electric motor has no air intake, so there is no chance of hydrolock, where water gets sucked into the engine intake and damages the engine.
Here’s a video of Farhan A Rahim’s Tesla Model 3 going through a flood in Kuantan back in January 2021. According to Farhan, the water was deep enough to fully cover his Tesla Model 3 LR’s tyre. The Model 3 LR comes default with 18 inch aero wheels but can be specified optionally with 19 inch sport wheels.
EV cannot go through flood
D’Dark Knight learning how to swim ??????? ???????
Posted by Farhan A Rahim on Saturday, 2 January 2021
Tesla actually tests cars that rolls off its Shanghai gigafactory in deep water as part of its quality control process. You can watch the video below – skip to the 1 minute 9 second mark to watch the test.
Nevertheless we wouldn’t recommend driving your electric car or any other car through floods even though their wading depth seems superior to ICE-powered cars of a similiar body type.
Even though essential components might not be damaged and you can still continue driving, there is risk of the water damaging non-essential parts that might not receive the same waterproofing treatment as essential parts, such as your number plate or car horn.