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Is Tesla Motors (TSLA) building a tank? –

Tesla Motors (TSLA) has a three-layered, military-grade, aluminum-titanium solution for its battery-fire problem.

A federal investigation largely absolved Tesla Friday of any serious defects in the design of its Model S electric car batteries, three of which caught fire after hitting debris in the span of two months last year. But, just to be sure, the California-based electric carmaker has elevated the car’s ground clearance and added a triple underbody shield to existing protection, which it hopes will bring the risk of another fire down to “virtually zero.”

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Electric carmakers have little margin for error with a technology that – fairly or not – has a reputation for flammability and limited mass-market appeal. Tesla has had enormous success in avoiding the pitfalls of other plug-in vehicles, building a car adored by most its drivers and many in the automotive industry. Even in the rare instances that it has hit snags – such as last year’s battery fires – the Model S has protected its occupants from any serious injuries and shown little sign of long-term, systemic flaws.



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