Tesla Motors, the popular electric vehicle company, has added a triple-layer metal shield that is made out of titanium and aluminum underneath the bodies of its cars. The changes were applied earlier this month. The shield is going to protect the battery pack from impacts below, said Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk in a blog post.
Tesla Motors vehicles are known for its high standards of safety, but a couple of cars caught on fire last year after objects penetrated the battery pack. Tesla Motors shipped 22,477 Model S vehicles last year and the company has a goal of hitting 35,000 in 2014.
Tesla vehicles that were made before March 6th can be fitted with the shield free of charge upon request. This would add weight to the vehicle, which reduces the battery range. The shields have only a 0.1% impact on the range though. The shield would not affect driving or handling.
Tesla Motors addressed the car fire incidents last year by releasing over-the-air software updates for air suspension. This increased ground clearance at highway speeds.