Hurricane Idalia Aftermath: Saltwater Exposure Causes ‘Thermal Runaway’ In Flooded Electric Vehicles

Electric automobiles flooded by a storm surge produced by Hurricane Idalia have spontaneously ignited within the Big Bend space. This underscores a lesser-known security concern for the hundreds of Americans who not too long ago bought EVs and reside in coastal areas weak to flooding. 

In the aftermath of the storm, hearth officers in Pinellas County, west of Tampa, reported not less than two incidents of EVs combusting after lithium-ion batteries had been uncovered to the saltwater. 

“If you own a hybrid or electric vehicle that has come into contact with saltwater due to recent flooding within the last 24 hours, it is crucial to relocate the vehicle from your garage without delay,” a Facebook submit by Palm Harbor Fire Rescue reads. 

“Saltwater exposure can trigger combustion in lithium-ion batteries. If possible, transfer your vehicle to higher ground,” the submit continued. 

It additionally stated, “This includes golf carts and electric scooters. Don’t drive these through water. PHFR crews have seen numerous residents out in golf carts and children on scooters riding through water.” 

Fire officers posted a number of pictures of a Tesla hearth in Dunedin. 

Video taken by James McLynas exhibits one other burnt-out Tesla in Pinellas Park. 

“Hurricane flooded Tesla Bursts into flames while being towed to the storage lot. Driver picked up the flood damaged Tesla from a storm damaged home and was towing it back when it burst into flames. Driver stopped on a street and quickly off loaded the burning car to save his truck. (that’s why there are burnt tow dollies under it). When the fire department arrived, they put it out, but it kept reigniting. After several attempts to put it out, they just let it burn out. This was all that was left,” McLynas wrote in his submit on YouTube.

The subject with EV battery packs is that saltwater corrodes wiring and battery parts, typically resulting in shorts or uncovered wiring. And then thermal runaway ignites the battery — only a few hearth departments nationwide are skilled in lithium fires. 

This downside is not restricted to Tesla EVs. Last 12 months, Hurricane Ian struck Southwest Florida, inflicting inland flooding that led to dozens of EV fires (learn: right here & right here). 

What’s ironic is that authorities and local weather doomsayers say decarbonizing the transportation sector with EVs will save the planet from imminent destruction (bear in mind Greta stated the world would finish in 2023), however these unproven automobiles are solely sparking extra complications.

As for imminent local weather doom, properly, greater than a thousand scientists simply signed a declaration dismissing the existence of a local weather disaster, learn: Over 1,600 Scientists Sign ‘No Climate Emergency’ Declaration.


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