Tesla’s long-awaited arrival into India has run into an unforeseen speed bump, to put it mildly. According to individuals familiar with the situation, the Tesla Model 3, which was supposed to be the first model to go on sale in India, was discovered to have insufficient ground clearance during testing on Indian roads.
Breakers are a major source of worry for the Model 3
The ground clearance of the Model 3 is 140mm, which has been a problem on Indian roads, with the vehicle falling out on speed breakers. It’s worth mentioning that the Model 3 is equipped with coil springs that cannot be modified for more clearance.
A 25mm increase in ground clearance is required
According to our sources, the Indian arm of IDIADA Automotive Technology — the organization in charge of testing the Model 3 – discovered that the car fell out on 160 of the 200-speed breakers tries, and has advised re-engineering the suspension to improve ground clearance by 25mm, to 165mm.
Surprisingly, ground clearance–or the lack thereof–is nearly universal among electric vehicles that place their hefty battery packs low. On speed breakers, the Mercedes-Benz EQC scrapes its midriff, and we saw the same thing with the Tata Nexon EV on a moderate off-road path near Satpura. While both of those electric vehicles are SUVs, the Tesla Model 3 is a sedan.
The problem is exacerbated by customized EVs like the Model 3, which are developed around larger wheelbases to take advantage of the packaging freedom that electric vehicle designs provide. Low clearance and a lengthy wheelbase combine to provide a bad ramp break-over angle, which isn’t ideal on India’s terrible road surfaces.
Air suspension is available on higher-end Tesla vehicles, such as the Model X crossover, which allows you to adjust the ride height at the press of a button. The Audi e-tron and e-tron Sportback are the only EVs on the market in India that comes with air suspension as standard, while the Jaguar I-Pace provides it as an optional extra.
The Model Y is expected to be the first Tesla to hit the market in 2022
As a result of this development, the Model Y crossover might be the first Tesla to be imported into India. One of the four models that stands a better chance for the Indian market is the Model Y.