Since the presentation of the new generation Tesla Model X and Model S, one question remains: can the famous Yoke steering wheel be authorized in France and in Europe? The first elements of a response appear from the Netherlands and Sweden.
The new versions of the Tesla Model X and Model S clearly caused a sensation at the end of January 2021. In addition to their new versions always more powerful, it is indeed their interior that has been the subject of special attention. The central screen formerly installed in portrait mode now benefits from a landscape mode, for example. But above all, a futuristic steering wheel came to be installed just to its left.
Called Yoke, this steering wheel has the merit of appealing with its ultra minimalist appearance in the absence of the traditional commodos. Also, several functions (indicators, windshield wipers, headlights, horns) can now be activated via touch zones, here reinforcing the ultra modern dimension of the vehicle. But does this famous rectangular steering wheel comply with European and French standards?
No objection in the Netherlands and Sweden
In a statement sent to the editor, Tesla indicates that “ all specifications are shown for US models, specs for European models will be available closer to first deliveries», Concerning the new Model S and Mode X. Tesla France nevertheless confirms that the steering wheel is not affected by this indication. The latter mainly concerns autonomy.
For Tesla France, it is still too early to provide the first answers. We will have to wait a few more months to have more information. Or turn to the Dutch and Swedish media, which interviewed their respective transport organization. And a priori , nothing would prevent Tesla from launching an electric car equipped with such a steering wheel.
According toDepartment of Road Transport(RDW), the Dutch public agency which oversees vehicle registration and approval, “the shape of the steering wheel is nowhere prescribed in EU or EEC legislation», Reports RTL News. The Yoke steering wheel would even facilitate access to the driver’s seat, and also make it possible to better distinguish the position of the steering wheel compared to a round steering wheel.
Our colleagues from Numerama went to delve into European texts, according to which the steering wheel “must guarantee simple and secure control of the vehicle up to its maximum speedTo paraphrase. The fact is that today, there is no tangible evidence to prove the contrary about the Yoke steering wheel, even if habits will necessarily be turned upside down in the absence of commodos for example.
According to To vibrate, one of Sweden’s leading automotive magazines, “there is no obligation to have a round steering wheel“, According to the Swedish transport agency (The Danish Transport Agency). In short: the Netherlands and Sweden would have no objection to allowing such a form factor.
The fact is that Tesla has historically used to go through Dutch bodies – its headquarters is in the Netherlands – to homologate its electric vehicles, which are then allowed to drive anywhere in Europe. If the country gives its approval for the Model X and Model S 2021, there is a good chance that they can circulate without incident everywhere on the Old Continent.
Jean-Baptiste Djebbari questioned on the issue
It would also make no sense for one nation to prohibit the shape of the steering wheel, and another to allow it. This would cause many complications for users: imagine a Dutch owner aboard a 2021 Tesla Model S allowed to drive in his country, but banned from using his car in another, because the standards differ. The decision related to approval must be common.
In France, Damien Adam, LREM deputy for the 1st district of Seine-Maritime, questioned Jean-Baptiste Djebbari, minister delegate in charge of transport, about this problem. In particular, he wishes to know whether “these new steering wheels comply with French and even European legislation and regulations to date, and if, in fine, these vehicles can be approved in France», We read on Clean Automobile.
Mr Djebbari could quickly close the debate.