New Hurricane Ian Challenge: Spontaneously Combusting Electric Vehicles

h/t Davlar and Yooper; Flooded electric vehicle fires on a scale firefighters have never faced before, according to Florida’s top fire marshal Jimmy Patronis.

Flooded Electric Vehicles Spontaneously Catch On Fire In Florida After Hurricane

FRIDAY, OCT 07, 2022 – 11:07 PM

“There’s a ton of EVs disabled from Ian. As those batteries corrode, fires start,” according to Jimmy Patronis, Florida’s top financial officer and fire marshal. 

Patronis tweeted Thursday that after Hurricane Ian made landfall last week and flooded regions of his state, a bunch of electric vehicles (EVs) were caught in floods, batteries were waterlogged, and some spontaneously caught on fire. 

He said, “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 another tweet. “Thanks to [North Collier Fire Rescue] for their hard work.”

…Read more:

The following tweet is from the Zero Hedge article.

The problem is electric vehicle batteries contain dangerously reactive chemicals.

When shorted by floodwater the large electric current causes batteries rapidly corrode and disintegrate, a process which can occur in a matter of minutes.

The fires which occur when the floodwaters subside from the corroded batteries are difficult to extinguish, and can burn hot enough to melt steel and concrete.

If that wasn’t enough, smoke from electric battery fires is toxic. Lithium contamination and poisoning can cause serious short and long term health problems, including coma, seizures, confusion, rapid heart rate and nausea. Lithium exposure can also cause long term dementia like brain injuries.

To their credit, Florida fire officers and leadership seem to have the problem under control. But what about the future?

If more people purchase electric vehicles, this problem, which is unique to electric vehicles, could become a major burden for fire responders attempting to deal with the aftermath of future natural disasters.

via Watts Up With That?

October 9, 2022