In this article, I will explore the potential effects of lightning strikes on EVs, explicitly focusing on Tesla vehicles, and discuss the materials used in EV construction to resist lightning damage. Let’s find what happens if lightning strikes an electric car.
Lightning Strikes and Electric Cars:
Most people hesitate to buy an EV because they believe lightning strikes hit electric cars. But can lightning damage an electric car? Lightning strikes are powerful natural phenomena capable of causing significant damage to any object in their path.
While EVs, including Tesla models, are designed with safety features to mitigate potential electrical hazards, lightning strikes can still pose a risk. The severity of the damage depends on various factors, such as the strength of the lightning bolt, the location of impact, and the vehicle’s overall electrical system.
Tesla and Lightning Attraction:
Do Tesla’s attract lightning? Contrary to popular belief, Tesla vehicles do not attract lightning more than any other car on the road. The type or brand of the vehicle does not influence lightning.
It strikes objects based on height, shape, and electrical conductivity. While the sleek design of Tesla cars may make them more visually appealing targets, they are not inherently more susceptible to lightning strikes.
The Effects of Lightning Strikes on Tesla:
Several scenarios can unfold if a Tesla or any other electric car is struck by lightning. But what happens if a Tesla is struck by lightning? Firstly, the lightning bolt may directly hit the vehicle’s exterior, causing a loud noise and a flash.
Still, due to the car’s metal body acting as a Faraday cage, the lightning’s electrical energy is generally diverted around the occupants and essential components, minimizing the risk of harm to passengers and the car’s internal systems.
Lightning Strikes While Parked:
What happens when an EV is struck while parked? The consequences may vary if an electric vehicle is struck by lightning while parked. Sometimes, the lightning’s path may follow the car’s external surface and dissipate without causing substantial damage.
Nonetheless, minor electrical system malfunctions or damage to the car’s charging infrastructure is still possible. It is advisable to have the vehicle inspected by a qualified technician to ensure all components function correctly after such an event.
Lightning Strikes While Driving:
What happens if your EV gets struck by lightning while driving? If an EV, including a Tesla, is struck by lightning while driving, the situation can be more complex. The vehicle’s onboard electrical systems are designed to handle such events and divert the electrical energy to protect passengers and critical components.
The sudden electrical surge may momentarily disrupt various vehicle functions, such as the infotainment system or auxiliary features. In such cases, pulling over safely and waiting for the system to reset before continuing is recommended.
Lightning Strikes and Car Destruction:
Can a lightning bolt destroy a car? While lightning strikes can cause damage to vehicles, it is rare for a lightning bolt to destroy a car. Modern cars, including EVs, are designed with safety measures that can help mitigate the effects of a lightning strike.
The car’s metal body acts as a shield, protecting occupants from the direct impact of the lightning. However, the electrical components and systems within the car may still experience malfunctions or damage.
Materials Resistant to Lightning:
Electric vehicle manufacturers use materials with high electrical conductivity to guarantee the safe discharge of electrical charges. However, the question of what material can resist lightning persists.
Aluminum and steel are commonly used in EV bodywork due to their excellent electrical conductivity and ability to function as Faraday cages, spreading electrical energy around the vehicle’s occupants and sensitive components.
A lightning strike on a Tesla Model 3 may cause minor electrical system failures or damage, but the vehicle’s design protects people.
Thunder cannot charge a Tesla or any other electric vehicle. Thunder is the sound produced by lightning but does not carry an electrical charge.
Being in open areas, such as fields or bodies of water, or standing near tall objects like trees or metal structures increases the chances of getting struck by lightning.
However, in the event of a lightning strike, a competent technician should always inspect the vehicle to detect any potential damage and guarantee that the vehicle continues to operate safely.