A Tesla Model 3 Can Successfully (But Briefly) Double as a Boat, Here’s Proof

Tesla Model 3 "swims" on flooded road in China 1 photo
Photo: Twitter / Tesla_Mania
Teslas have more going for them than just the fact that they’re the hottest EVs on the market right now. They can also float successfully, albeit only for a short while.
That Teslas are able to go through high water (well, higher than most cars are able to handle) is not a secret. In fact, as far back as 2016, CEO Elon Musk was saying that, while he would never recommend it to anyone, a Model S can act as a boat for a very short while, using the motion of the wheels as thrust to move forward.

This is hardly surprising, if you think about it. Tesla uses a skateboard configuration, which means the batteries and the motors are protected, so until the car itself fills up with water, it can become buoyant. This gives it the upper edge to gasoline cars.

But the proof is in the pudding, as the saying goes. The tweet below was posted by someone in China, which is currently facing the worst floods in recent history, with entire cities being submerged in several inches of water in a matter of minutes. This also seems to have been the case here, but the driver of a white Model 3 didn’t care for it.

The car is shown treading water in a very determined manner, until it gets to higher ground. According to the caption, amazed bystanders are heard exclaiming “A Tesla, ha!” Sure, you can argue that the car is not technically floating, but it’s better than any car could have performed, especially one with an internal combustion engine.

That said, back in 2019, there was intense speculation that China-built Teslas would be flood-tested and flood-adapted, given that flooding is a regular occurrence in the country. The rumors started from another video, which you can also see below, showing a Model 3 going through a section of the Gigafactory Shanghai that had been flooded on purpose.

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About the author: Elena Gorgan
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Elena has been writing for a living since 2006 and, as a journalist, she has put her double major in English and Spanish to good use. She covers automotive and mobility topics like cars and bicycles, and she always knows the shows worth watching on Netflix and friends.
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