Tesla - A Roadworthy Elecrtocution Machine?

If I were to grab each of the contacts of the Tesla battery with one of my bare hands so I’m in parallel with the car, would I get fried? Stop my heart? Annoying shock? Nothing?

I would assume that if there is significant risk they shield the contacts to make this scenario virtually impossible but I’m kind of curious.

Yes, the electrical system in EVs is pretty well shielded and protected against most crash damage, so it’s kind of a non-question. Gas and hybrid vehicles have plenty of dangerous parts where you shouldn’t stick your hands, too.

The working voltage of Teslas is around 375 volts, so grabbing the battery terminals would be a Bad Idea.

Yes you would basically die. Given that the high end Model S has about 400 hp fed to its motor, grabbing its electrical leads would be like grabbing the crankshaft of a regular car. Either way electrically or mechanically you’ll get mangled pretty bad.

The human body is not at all like a simple linear resistor, but generally speaking you need about 50 volts or so before you start to overcome the resistance of your skin. You can touch the 12 volts of a car battery without any harm. 375 volts is way up above what it takes to get some deadly current flowing through you though. At those kinds of voltages, you’ll probably end up with somewhere between a fourth and a half of an amp of current going through you. More importantly, since it’s one hand to another, the path of the current is through your chest.

To put things in perspective, the maximum “safe” current that most U.S. safety standards are built around is 5 mA (0.005 amps). You’re at roughly 100 times that current level. As for what it would feel like, well, about 1 mA is where you start to feel a little tingle, and you’re about 500 times that. So it’s not going to be pleasant, to say the least. The good news is you probably aren’t going to feel it for long. With a little luck, all of your muscles involuntarily contracting from the current will throw you free. If not, you’ve got enough current that you are getting close to having all of the muscles in your heart just clamp as well. That means no more blood pumping, and you’ll go unconscious in maybe 10 to 15 seconds or so. After that you’ll just die. If the heart doesn’t clamp, it’s very likely at that current level to go into fibrillation. Instead of pumping, its rhythm gets all screwed up and it kinda just sits there and shakes. Again, it’s not pumping blood, so you’ll pass out shortly and then die. The thing about fibrillation is that it’s a stable state for your heart, so if you can get it into that state it will happily stay there once the current is removed. That means that you can still die even if your muscles throw you free of the shock. Unless someone is standing next to you with a portable defibrillator, things aren’t looking good (and even with one the odds aren’t exactly super).

So basically you’re looking at 10 to 15 seconds of extreme misery followed by unconsciousness and death. Death isn’t guaranteed, though. Getting your heart into fibrillation is kinda hit and miss. It doesn’t always do it.

The good news is you need to get to about 5 amps or so for some serious tissue burning to occur, and you’re probably going to be below that.

Apparently this is a known issue with electric/hybrid cars. There have been cases where cars have crashed, and the paramedics responding have been shocked because the wires were now touching the car’s body and electrifying it!

I imagine that the cars are engineered to try to minimize this possability, but it’s probably not possible to eliminate it entirely.

Whoo-hoo-hoo, look who knows so much. It just so happens that your friend here is only *basically *dead. There’s a big difference between basically dead and all dead. Basically dead is slightly alive. With all dead, well, with all dead there’s usually only one thing you can do.

It’s just a flesh wound.

You’re bleving…

The batteries in most cars could make you acidicly dead.

Go through his pockets?