Electric vehicles are exploding in Florida - country's second biggest EV market - because Hurricane Ian's water damage has caused batteries to corrode and catch fire

I mentioned this problem a little while back. I am reverting to it because of a story from where I live in Brisbane, Australia. Brisbane does sometimes get flooding in low lying areas and I hear of someone who got his small 2006 Kia van flooded recently. It went a fair way under so was not driveable after the flood had receded. As it was an old and humble vehicle, the owner decided to sell it for scrap.

So a scrap dealer arrived to tow it away. The dealer asked the owner if he had the key to it. "Sure", said the owner and promptly proceeded to put the key in the ignition and turn it. The vehicle started! It had just needed to dry out. A much preferable experience to what hit the Florida electic car owners. No car should be flooded but even a humble combustion car can survive it

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

'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.


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