How electric cars handle water logged & flooded Indian roads

The biggest fear of water entering your exhaust pipe is not there. Of course the wires are exposed but standing water doesn’t really have much impact.

BHPian sjoshi999 recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

Water logging & flooding is a reality in India – how did EVs fair on waterlogged roads & recent flooding incidences in the monsoon? Any significant advantages of one versus the other?

Any actual owner experiences from the recent monsoons? In Bangalore?

Here’s what BHPian torquecurve had to say on the matter:

Not from Bangalore but in Pune the Tata Tigor EV handled waterlogged roads like a BOSS! Where other sedans we’re waiting by the side, the Tigor EV effortlessly drove through almost 12 – 14 inches of water. I am sure the Nexon EV with higher ground clearance fares better.

The biggest fear of water entering your exhaust pipe is not there. Of course the wires are exposed but standing water doesn’t really have much impact.

Here’s what BHPian 123.rishabh had to say on the matter:

I have driven my E Verito in Gurgaon water logging with half of my tyres submerged in water and faced no issues.

Talking about the air intake for ICE vs EV, EVs also have air intake in order to cool electronic components.

In case of the Verito Electric, the air intake is present on the Right hand side just below the Mahindra logo on the front grill, from where the air is directed under the engine cover to cool the electronics.

So one needs to take care of how much water wading is safe basis these factors for different EV models.

Here’s what BHPian IshaanIan had to say on the matter:

Obviously since there is no air intake for combustion, an EV does not have to worry about wading through flooded roads. I once got extremely pissed off recently when I had just finished taking my Kizashi (155mm ground clearance) through some deep-ish water and once I had got to the other end after nursing my car through like a champ keeping its revs up high, this idiot in a Nexon EV decides to block my path by aborting his attempt through the water and taking a U-Turn Seriously, EVs should have no problem going through flooded roads. Given you understand the road you are going through and there isn’t any fear of getting stuck in potholes and all that.

Here’s what BHPian Mustang_Boss had to say on the matter:

Most of the EV batteries are sealed. Even if these batteries have liquid cooling or not, the Battery is sealed, but it will have the needed inlets and outlets for the coolant to pass through.

The terminals of the battery are coated with heavy rubber or other synthetic material to sustain wear and tear and not to short circuit with any elements. All wiring [related to propulsion] are heavily coated to ensure nothing/no one could touch it.

The motors are sealed too, but the gaskets used shall determine the water wading depth.

Technically, you can use your EV in water as a boat if built well. Here is an example.

In Indian reality, the car built at a cost, hence, nothing international shall apply.

Coming to other parts, to what extent they are exposed to water shall determine the durability of the vehicle.

Here’s what BHPian rishi.roger had to say on the matter:

I asked this question earlier in the Nexon EV thread, however asking this here again as an extension of the OP’s question.

Most answers on this thread address the water-logging, to which it seems that EV >>> ICE and pretty much nails it and passes with green flag.

However, the answers had a criteria that the water levels were up to a certain depth.

WHAT HAPPENS in case of TOTAL FLOODING ? Let’s say a scenario where the car was parked in the basement and the basement got completely flooded ? This is in scenarios where the vehicles are at a standstill obviously.

Are there exposed wires/cables that could get damaged over time/usage ?

What about the protection from dangerous elements like Rats/Mice and felines ? Have seen cases where they bite into cables, wool and whatever they find their way into. Is this possible in EVs w.r.t. electrical or hazardous parts ?

BHPian aim120 replied:

In case the EV is submerged just like any other car, non-ip67/68 rated electronics, connectors, headlamp, lights etc can malfunction which may need replacement.

Seats, carpets, trims etc will need to thrown away. AC evaporator coil may need to be cleaned or replaced, blower assembly, ducts will also need to cleaned or replaced.

LCD display/infotainment/ instrument console etc may survive provided the 12v battery supply, 5v supply, can bus etc are all disconnected and sealed water tight. But over the years you will notice the PCB, electrical contact points corroding turning green due to formation of cupric oxide, which can also be cleaned with electrical contact cleaners.

But the question is, will the labour be cheaper to painstakingly clean or will it be cheaper to just replace the effected components.

As far as rats chewing on electrical connections, the high voltage lines from battery to the motor controller are really thick wires, since both the voltage and current is several times more then the regular 12v wires, the insulation in these wires are much thicker. Some EV cars also have another plastic sleeve to further protect from stone chips, mice etc.

But a stubborn rat can chew it like those bandicoot rats with big sharp teeth.

Check out BHPian comments for more insights and information.

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