I would like to know if a battery-powered electric vehicle such as a Tesla Model 3 automobile can be driven through a dust storm.

Back during the Dust Bowl days of the 1930s, driving through a dust storm could damage electrical equipment inside a car.

"...So much static electricity built up between the ground and airborne dust that blue flames leapt from barbed wire fences and well-wishers shaking hands could generate a spark so powerful it could knock them to the ground. Since static electricity could short out engines and car radios, motorists driving through dust storms dragged chains from the back of their automobiles to ground their cars..." https://www.history.com/news/10-things-you-may-not-know-about-the-dust-bowl

Can a battery-powered electric vehicle be driven through a dust storm?

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    $\begingroup$ You are asking several questions - such as "does a BEV fully isolate & insulate the motor drive circuitry" and "does any car incorporate surge/voltage prevention for all its ECUs and electric drive components such as 'steer-by-wire" $\endgroup$ Dec 13, 2021 at 13:59
  • $\begingroup$ @CarlWitthoft, I would hope that nobody would activate the car's 'steer-by-wire'/hands-free feature while driving through a dust storm. $\endgroup$
    – user57467
    Dec 13, 2021 at 19:42
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    $\begingroup$ "steer-by-wire" means the steering wheel is not mechanically connnected to the axles but rather signals a servo to steer. It's independent of any Level 2 or Level 3 "hands-free" self-steering installation. $\endgroup$ Dec 14, 2021 at 13:55

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I know of cars with the early electronic ignitions would misfire and cut out close to an army communications station.

After some of the updates to the early electronic ignition systems they stopped failing like that in that location.

So, given the electronics has moved on a lot since the late '70s then I believe that the electronic systems would be more stable. But knowing what the exact test regimes are now completed by the manufacturers would clarify the situation.


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