Nissan LEAF Versus Flooded Road – Video


LEAF Makes Big Splash

LEAF Makes Big Splash

Please don’t attempt to drive through water this deep.

It’s highly unlikely it would affect the battery pack (or lead to electrocution – a common electric car myth), but other electronics within the car are susceptible to water intrusion.

And it’s not safe to drive through water when you can’t see how deep it actually is.

Video description:

“Water? No problem.”


For good measure will add in this original, super-deep water test via Nissan Japan (via DanCar) as well

Categories: Nissan


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21 Comments on "Nissan LEAF Versus Flooded Road – Video"

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I wonder just what the limit is on running a BEV through deep water? Presumably the battery pack is sealed watertight, but what about the inverter? The motor? Are all electrical cables between battery pack and motor sealed watertight at the ends, or will water get into the connection and ground it out?

We certainly should not, not, recommend that anyone actually experiment with a BEV, but inquiring minds want to know…

I know that the battery pack of an i-MiEV is not sealed because several i-MiEV’s were totaled when hurricane Sandy flood waters entered their battery packs. The temperature of the i-MiEV’s battery back is controlled by circulating air.

The temperature of the Leaf’s battery pack is passively controlled by the transfer of heat between air and the battery cells, so I’m guessing that air must be able to enter the battery pack. If air can enter, water can enter.

Maybe water cannot enter most EVs’ battery packs while driving as easily as it can while parked.

Art Isbell said:

“I know that the battery pack of an i-MiEV is not sealed because several i-MiEV’s were totaled when hurricane Sandy flood waters entered their battery packs.”

Some Fisker Karmas too, as I recall.

Okay, so the Leaf’s battery pack probably isn’t watertight, then. I’m pretty sure the Tesla Model S’s pack is, because I’ve seen photos of a disassembly, and there was some sort of glue or sealant around the entire edge of the pack, in the joint between bottom and top of the battery pack shell, which made it quite difficult to separate the halves of the shell.

Logic therefore suggests that any EV’s battery pack which is liquid cooled/heated, such as Tesla’s cars and the Volt, will be watertight. But those which are air-cooled probably will not do well when driven into water up to the car’s hubcaps.

Hurricanes tend to destroy lots of cars, most of which don’t have battery packs. Here’s some from Katrina.

Take a look at what the Outlander PHEV can do in water and mud:

Battery are easily sealed, although air cooling is a bit uncertain.
Electric motor are also easily sealed, in fact many electric motor run totally immerse in pump or sewer, which is a much more severe environment than inside a car.
For the inverter, it’s possible, but again it depend on the method of cooling.
Power cable are more commonly integrated in one single traction unit, and thus also saleable.
But there’s a big difference between water proof and submersible.

This is a pack from a flooded LEAF. Bone dry inside.

Thanks, Pushmi-Pullyu!

The Milford Proving Grounds, in the Flooded Road Lab, Chevy Volt Battery Development Engineer, Bob Drexler explaing the Volt Water Troth Test.


Impressivly deep water! Volt Snow Plows through with Big Rooster Tail’s and wake!

Link Goes To Volt Water Troth Test-Uploaded 09.28.2010 On You Tube By Danny Beck Chevrolet-


Thomas J. Thias



Thank you Thomas!

Great to hear from someone who can give definitive info on a subject.

That water doesn’t look too deep at all. The guy was just driving too fast.

Wimpy Leaf water video. Try this one:

On a work group list there was a story about a flooded underpass under the 101 freeway. He saw a Leaf drive through where as a gas car got stuck.

+1. THAT is a water test!

Agreed.. I was thinking of this video too, when I watched this one.. And I thought this new one was weak.

Much better, I feel like deeper is possible though, I feel a challenge coming on.

It’s a slow day.
I’ll watch anything 🙂

I’ve forded deeper water that that in my Leaf.

As far aw I know the only unsealed electrical connections in the LEAF are on the 12V battery and potentially the 12V circuit. The drive train and battery pack are far too high voltage to be anything other than sealed and things like the charge points will only connect to the battery once the safety system lets it.

If it is just the 12V connections on the battery then the car should be fine in pretty deep water, probably until floating becomes an issue, as the battery connections are pretty high up and pretty far apart meaning you’d have to be completely immersed to short it out.

In the early days, Nissan drove a LEAF through knee deep seawater to prove it is safe. I have often wondered if you could drive a twizy on the sea bed if you sealed the 12V circuit and put on scuba gear.

I just watch the video, oh dear, that’s not very deep. I’ve gone through stuff twice that deep with the kids in the car.

Someone needs to offer the writer of this article a can of “toughen-up-princess”.

The LEAF gen1 packs survived the tsunami undamaged while the rest of the vehicle was destroyed.

People do think the myth that electric cars don’t do well in the rain maybe true.

Quite often I am asked about driving in the rain. I say with a straight face that ia downpour I join the motorbike riders and sit under an bridge.

When I get the “Really”? in response I let them into the joke.