News, Culture & Society

Electric vehicles are exploding in Florida as Hurricane Ian’s water damage makes batteries corrode

Firefighters in Florida are dealing with a new problem in the wake of Hurricane Ian’s damaging floods – explosive fires caused by waterlogged batteries in electric vehicles. 

When EV batteries take on a large amount of water, they’re at risk of corrosion that can lead to unexpected fires, according to a top fire official in the state – which is America’s second largest EV market after California, with 95,000 registered vehicles. 

‘There’s a ton of EVs disabled from Ian. As those batteries corrode, fires start,’ Florida’s fire marshal and top financial officer David Patronis tweeted Thursday. ‘That’s a new challenge that our firefighters haven’t faced before. At least on this kind of scale.’ 

Firefighters in Florida are dealing with a new problem in the wake of Hurricane Ian’s damaging floods – explosive fires caused by waterlogged batteries in electric vehicles. ABOVE: Firefighters in Naples, Florida, handle the aftermath of a fire in a Tesla

'There’s a ton of EVs disabled from Ian. As those batteries corrode, fires start,' Florida's fire marshal and top financial officer David Patronis tweeted Thursday

‘There’s a ton of EVs disabled from Ian. As those batteries corrode, fires start,’ Florida’s fire marshal and top financial officer David Patronis tweeted Thursday

‘It takes special training and understanding of EVs to ensure these fires are put out quickly and safely,’ he continued in a follow-up tweet. ‘Thanks to [North Collier Fire Rescue] for their hard work.’ 

It’s not clear exactly how many EVs were impacted by the storm’s flood waters. 

Patronis shared videos of firefighters in Naples, Florida, dealing with a fire that started from a Tesla’s battery. 

Bystanders can be overheard saying the crew had used hundreds of gallons of water.

'That’s a new challenge that our firefighters haven’t faced before,' Patronis added. 'At least on this kind of scale'

‘That’s a new challenge that our firefighters haven’t faced before,’ Patronis added. ‘At least on this kind of scale’

Hurricane Ian inundated several cities along the Sunshine State's west coast when it made landfall as a category 4 storm packing 155 mph winds

Hurricane Ian inundated several cities along the Sunshine State’s west coast when it made landfall as a category 4 storm packing 155 mph winds

America's largest EV carmaker is Elon Musk's Tesla, which accounted for just under 70% of all such sales in 2021.

America’s largest EV carmaker is Elon Musk’s Tesla, which accounted for just under 70% of all such sales in 2021.

Hurricane Ian inundated several cities along the Sunshine State’s west coast when it made landfall as a category 4 storm packing 155 mph winds. 

Thus far, the ferocious storm has led to 101 deaths and billions of dollars worth of damage – making it one of the nation’s costliest hurricanes on record. Upon landfall, it knocked out power for 2.6 million people statewide.

The news about the battery-caused fires comes as the Biden administration makes a big push for electric vehicles – including the Inflation Reduction Act that had a $7,500 EV tax credit. 

Multiple states are passing legislation to gradually phase out gas-powered cars, including California and New York, which will both ban them by 2035. 

These efforts are intended to cut down on greenhouse gas emissions and mitigate the effects of climate change in the coming decades. 

However, both states lack the infrastructure to power tens of thousands of new zero-emissions vehicles. 

In New York City, there are only 677 charging stations, and even though the city is set to add 10,000 curbside chargers by 2030, it may not be enough to power all the EVs expected to be on the streets by then. 

The additional issue with EVs is the cost factor – as most now average about $20,000 more than a gas-powered car. 

According to Kelley Blue Book, the cost of EVs is ‘well above industry average and more aligned with luxury prices versus mainstream prices.’

There are 17 other US states that have joined California’s movement that account for about 40 percent of all US new vehicle sales.

America’s largest EV carmaker is Elon Musk’s Tesla, which accounted for just under 70% of all such sales in 2021. 

Another big uncertainty about the statewide policies banning gas cars is how quickly precious minerals, specifically lithium, will be available to produce large amounts of batteries needed to fulfill the 2035 EV target.

Laurie Holmes, senior manager of government affairs for Kia, told California officials Thursday that the industry could have difficulty meeting sales targets.

She urged the state to support incentives for consumers to buy EVs and to help build out a charging system.

The news about the battery-caused fires comes as the Biden administration makes a big push for electric vehicles - including the Inflation Reduction Act that had a $7,500 EV tax credit

The news about the battery-caused fires comes as the Biden administration makes a big push for electric vehicles – including the Inflation Reduction Act that had a $7,500 EV tax credit

***
Read more at DailyMail.co.uk