Water-damaged EV batteries turn Tesla Model X and other electric cars in Florida into fire hazards
Last week, Florida’s gulf coast was hit by one of the strongest hurricanes in recent history, which caused billions of dollars in damage in places like Fort Myers, and tragically also cost numerous lives. Many vehicles that were parked in one of the many affected areas have also suffered extensive water damage from the devastating storm surge that accompanied Hurricane Ian, which may be particularly dangerous for owners of a Tesla vehicle or other electric car.
Florida's Chief Financial Officer and Fire Marshal, Jimmy Patronis, has now pointed out on Twitter that these water-damaged and disabled electric cars, such as the Tesla Model X seen in his video, are a serious fire hazard. He explained that the washed-up salt water induces rapid corrosion, which may cause an EV battery to malfunction and ultimately catch on fire. Assumably, the full effects of the water damage can become noticeable days and even weeks after the vehicle in question was flooded. The aftermath of the burning Tesla Model X can be seen in the embedded tweet below.
According to the Washington Times, even 1,500 gallons of water weren’t enough to fully extinguish the fire that was caused by the defective battery inside the Tesla Model X. Incidents like these may become especially dangerous or even life-threatening if the water-damaged electric cars are parked near houses or, even worse, in garages. In order to be prepared for more EV fires like this one, Patronis reiterated that firefighters in Florida are receiving special training that teaches them how to quickly and safely extinguish a burning electric car. With nearly 100,000 registered EVs, Florida ranks second on the list of states with the most battery-powered vehicles in the United States, only California exceeds that number.
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There’s a ton of EVs disabled from Ian. As those batteries corrode, fires start. That’s a new challenge that our firefighters haven’t faced before. At least on this kind of scale. #HurricaneIan pic.twitter.com/WsErgA6evO— Jimmy Patronis (@JimmyPatronis) October 6, 2022