The Tesla Model X is a marvel of engineering. Well, that’s one way of putting it. Another way, would be to say that it’s arguably the most complex consumer vehicle to ever make it to mass production.
While that likely will cause minor problems for owners of early models over the next few years, it will also possible pose a challenge to first responders at car accidents — perhaps unsure of how best to gain access to the interior of a wrecked one. (Where are the batteries, wiring, etc?)
Gas 2 provides more:
Brock Archer of Advanced Extrication and Randall Wells, deputy chief of the Denver Fire Department have put together an informative and detailed video for rescue workers that shows them how to avoid the high strength boron steel Tesla uses to protect the passenger compartment, how to get all the doors open, and how to disable the car’s electrical system in the event of an emergency.
The front trunk, doors, and rear hatch are all operated from the car’s 12 volt electrical system. If no power is available for any reason, all can be unlatched mechanically using pull cords hidden in easily accessible locations. One is located in the left front lower corner of the car. Pull it to gain access to the front trunk, popularly known as that frunk. Inside on the passenger’s side near the base of the windshield is a clearly marked loop of wires. Cutting it twice will disable the high voltage circuits in the car.
Tesla has worked closely with fire departments and rescue personnel in the development of the Model X. They recommended that the DC/DC inverter be relocated from the right front wheel wheel to the middle of the firewall inside the frunk. The charging controller has also been moved to the left rear quarter panel. The pull cord for the falcon wing doors is located inside the speaker enclosure in the bottom of each door. For the rear hatch, it is tucked behind the trim around the rear courtesy light.
Those falcon wing doors present separate issues. If no other means is available to access the rear seat passengers, rescue personnel are instructed to break the window, then use an hydraulic ram to break the top of the door away from the bottom section. After that. power shears — often called the Jaws of Life, are used to sever the top hinges. That leaves a clear path into the interior of the car. In a more serious wreck, the shears can be used to cut through the top of the B pillar and the bottom below the door latch. Those areas do not have the high strength boron steel. Once the B pillar is removed, full access to the entire inside of the vehicle is possible.
A very interesting video. And I would guess one that Model X owners in particular find interesting… Did anyone cringe while watching?