Saltwater surge from Hurricane Ian causes at the least 8 EV fires


The surge of saltwater that pummeled Florida’s Gulf Coast throughout Hurricane Ian induced at the least eight electrical autos to catch hearth, in keeping with state officers.

Florida CFO Jimmy Patronis referred to as the state of affairs “a real-world experiment … with saltwater and EVs.” He mentioned officers acquired unconfirmed experiences of fires taking place exterior the state as properly, highlighting the menace that compromised EVs can pose if they’re resold unscrupulously.

The Florida hearth marshal’s workplace and motorcar division decided that 9,700 EVs have been registered within the three counties hit hardest Sept. 28, when Ian made landfall packing 150- mph winds. Greater than 7,000 of these EVs have been Teslas and about 3,400 of these Teslas have been registered inside the 50-meter affect zone that skilled the very best storm surge.

Whereas eight fires represents a tiny proportion of the EVs within the affected space, Patronis famous they’re “uniquely harmful” occasions. The hearth marshal’s workplace mentioned EVs shouldn’t be pushed, turned on or plugged in after being underwater.

“Not like a combustion engine, the fireplace will hold reigniting,” Patronis mentioned in a press release final month. “Furthermore, it is particularly harmful if there’s an EV, golf cart, or scooter in a storm ravaged house. The battery system can turn into compromised, prompting a fireplace, which is once more, one thing we actually do not expertise with combustion engines.”

USA Right this moment mentioned it had confirmed 11 EV fires in Florida after Ian, all as a result of batteries being submerged or broken. No deaths have been linked to the fires, however an EV hearth on Sanibel Island destroyed the home it was in and one other one subsequent door.

“That is actually the primary time we had flooding in an space with numerous electrical vehicles,” Jon Linkov, deputy auto editor for Client Studies, informed USA Right this moment.

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