Tesla Model 3 India Launch Delayed Due to Low Ground Clearance

Tesla’s much-anticipated Model 3 EV, which was supposed to be the first model to be on sale in India, may not make it anytime soon due to insufficient ground clearance during testing on our roads. As per the sources, the Highway tests have revealed that the Model 3’s 140mm ground clearance is insufficient to clear several of India’s current speed breakers. It’s worth mentioning that the Model 3 is supported by coil springs that can’t be altered for more clearance.

According to the most recent reports, the Indian arm of IDIADA Automotive Technology, the organisation in charge of testing the Model 3, discovered that the car bottomed out on 160 of the 200-speed breakers tested, and engineers advised re-engineering the suspension to improve ground clearance by 25mm, to 165mm. It should be highlighted that the Model 3’s 2875 mm wheelbase aggravates the EV’s ground clearance issue, particularly in India.

It is also remarkable that ground clearance–or the lack thereof–is nearly a universal feature across electric vehicles with low-lying battery packs. The Mercedes-Benz EQC also scrapes its midriff on speed breakers, and we saw the same issue in the Tata Nexon EV on a moderate off-road path near Satpura. While both of these EVs are SUVs, the Tesla Model 3 is a sedan. The issue is aggravated by customised EVs, such as the Model 3, which are designed to take advantage of the packaging freedom afforded by electric vehicle designs and are generally constructed around larger wheelbases. 

In addition, the low clearance and a lengthy wheelbase combine to provide a bad ramp break-over angle, which is far from ideal on India’s poorly paved roads. On the other hand, high-end Tesla vehicles, such as the Model X crossover, feature air suspension, which allows you to adjust the ride height at the press of a button.


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