So.. thanks to its sealed drivetrain, battery pack, and passenger compartment, the Tesla Model S can work its way through high water, as the above video of a flooded roadway tunnel in Kazakhstan would seem to indicate. But just because the car made it doesn't mean this is remotely a good idea.
For one, you're driving a large battery pack filled to the brim with stored electricity. Electricity and water don't mix well. And then there's the water that's going to be seeping into the frunk, through the door seals, all of the underbody components that aren't sealed against submersion and more… and you've got a recipe for voiding your warranty.
It's best to just wait for the waters to recede or turn around and find a way around. It's simply not worth it. You never know what's under that water, how deep it actually is, and so forth. This guy learned that lesson the hard way, and this guy very nearly had a bad day driving across what didn't seem like much water at all. And more than a few Tesla owners have run into high water problems of their own.
As Tesla CEO Elon Musk pointed out, the Model S will float… for a bit:
We *def* don't recommended this, but Model S floats well enough to turn it into a boat for short periods of time. Thrust via wheel rotation.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) June 19, 2016
So if you have no other option, you might do alright for a little while before too much water penetrates the powertrain and cabin and sinks your car. And Musk should know a thing or too about submersible cars — he paid nearly $900,000 for the submarine Lotus from The Spy Who Loved Me with the intent to convert the prop vehicle into a functioning submarine car. And then buried a surprise 007 mode in the Model S software.
You spent a lot on your fancy electric car. Don't waste it by doing something stupid like trying to drive through high water.