Can a heavily modified Tesla Model Y survive in the Chinese desert? [Video]

It is a question that not many have asked, but the team at Bitauto decided it was time to try and answer it.

The project car company custom modified a Tesla Model Y long range AWD to be the ideal EV off-road car.

The test was to see if the vehicle could make for a good overland or off-road vehicle in the desert.

Improvements on the car included:

  • Improved and lifted the suspension three inches with custom upper and lower control arms, spindles, CV shafts, and adjustable coil-overs.
  • To give the CV shaft some extra protection, they lowered both the engines
  • Custom metal fender flares
  • 32-inch tires
  • Custom roll cage
  • Custom front bumper
  • Off-roading light bar

They first tested out the car 500 km outside of Beijing. The day of off-roading included river crossings, steep mountain climbs and even rock climbing. Then it was off to the desert.

The Model Y did well in the desert, but the EV did have some limitations. To make the crossing, the company installed a gasoline generator to give the car some extra range. Although the factory range of the Model Y is 594 km, with the mods, the car’s range ended up being around 200 km in the desert.

So, the Model Y finished the 500 km crossing with some minor issues, but the range was certainly the biggest hurdle.

If you plan to mod your Model Y for off-roading, the range loss is certainly something to consider.

You can check out the full video down below. (via Reddit)

About Scott Nordlund 1562 Articles
Originally from the West Coast, Scott is an avid writer & EV enthusiast now living in Ottawa. He holds a MA in Political Science and once played professional football in the German Football League. Email