As it turns out, driving a vehicle with no internal combustion engine and instant torque is quite useful when faced with literal terrorists. This was something that a Model 3 Performance owner from Israel learned firsthand when he encountered Hamas terrorists as he was heading to an assembly point.
During the beginning of Hamas’ attack, a Tesla owner from Mefalsim, a kibbutz in Southern Israel near the Gaza Strip, was called in with the community’s alert squad. As he was driving to the assembly point, he encountered a vehicle loaded with Hamas terrorists. Photos and videos of the Model 3 Performance after its run-in with the terrorists hinted at the shocking events that transpired.
Saved by Tesla. Performance version.— Michael Lugassy (@mluggy) October 12, 2023
From Kibbutz Mefalsim to Brazilai hospital, at 180 km/h, with 1 tire missing, after terrorists sprayed Tesla with bullets.
His wife was updated on the location and his ER admission, with the real-time Tesla app.
Am Yisrael Chai @elonmusk ❤️ https://t.co/RhymORVFkV pic.twitter.com/9TTLPbiCHD
Speaking from Sheba Hospital, where he is recovering from a series of surgeries due to the attack, the Tesla owner told Israeli publication Walla about his encounter. According to the Model 3 owner, the terrorists proceeded to spray the Model 3 with bullets, shooting at the front in an attempt to hit the engine. The terrorists also shot at the Model 3’s rear, seemingly in an attempt to ignite the fuel tank. Fortunately, the Model 3 Performance had neither an engine nor a fuel tank.
“The terrorists recognized me from a distance of 10 meters. In addition to their Kalashnikovs, they had a machine gun in the battle that fired bullets of a larger diameter. They didn’t realize it was an electric car, so they shot at the front, hoping to hit the engine that wasn’t there, and at the back, attempting to ignite the non-existent fuel. They shot my tires. I pressed the gas, and they started chasing me,” the Tesla owner noted.
Sorry about the language, Hebrew pic.twitter.com/keNJAnHIhc— Captain Eli (@TheCaptainEli) October 12, 2023
At this point, it was a matter of survival. Thankfully, the Model 3 Performance is a very quick car, and the Tesla owner was able to gain some distance from his attackers. The Model 3 owner noted that his car’s acceleration ultimately allowed him to get away, and the Tesla’s safety systems allowed him to drive to a hospital at speed, even with blown-out tires.
“They shot at my tires, but the acceleration of the Tesla is astonishing even in this situation, and the dual propulsion managed to keep us on the road. I distanced myself from them quickly, but I knew I had to reach the hospital as fast as possible, so I drove at a speed of 180 km/h (111 mph) with blown-out tires. The tires began to disintegrate, but the dual propulsion balanced the wheels, some of which were already on the rims. According to the app, I was still driving at 170-180 km/h,” he noted.
The Tesla owner was able to drive to Barzilai Hospital on his damaged Model 3. By the time the Tesla owner reached the hospital gates, his Model 3 had dozens of bullet holes, and he was bleeding from multiple injuries. Almost miraculously, the Model 3 was reportedly still operational by the time it reached the hospital. The Tesla owner’s wife was even able to track the Model 3 due to updates on the Tesla App. In later comments, the Model 3 owner noted that his next vehicle will be another Tesla.
“I took bullets in my legs and hand, and one in the skull and shrapnel. But my head works and motivation kept me on the road even now in the hospital. The car continued to drive; the battery didn’t heat up, but it took a lot. There is no part that didn’t take a bullet. It still drives if you press the gas, but it seems to me that I should already be thinking about my next Tesla,” he said.
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