I'd be careful with how you word things. Ethanol is not in an of itself evil and purely political. Ethanol derived from renewable biological processes has merit in as much as it closes the carbon loop. The trouble comes when politics steps in and subsidizes source material whose production is every bit, if not more harmful than the petroleum the ethanol is supposed to be replacing.
If you want to make actual progress against environmental destruction you need to capture the external costs in the price people pay. Innovation will then be driven to that which costs the least.
The location of the battery pack is optimal for safety. It pushes the center of gravity down, it balances the weight between front and back, it provides rigidity for the passenger compartment and it substantially increases the size of the front and rear crumple zones.
Why are people like you holding Tesla to an incomprehensibly higher standard than you are for gas autos? The two highway incidents have involved striking something substantial at highway speeds. Both drivers were warned by the car, both drivers were able to safely pull over and exit the vehicle unharmed. This is the same car that performed better than another other car in history on federal safety tests, the same car that received never before achieved perfect marks by Consumer Reports. What would be the consequences of a gas auto being harpooned by either of these large metal objects at highway speeds? Pick any location under their unshielded undercarriage. I don't think you'll get much of a warning from the car and I doubt the option of pulling over safely will be available to you.
Are you folks really that scared of what electrics will mean for the future of your beloved gas autos?