Florida official: EVs starting fires in hurricane aftermath

Florida official: EVs starting fires in hurricane aftermath

(NewsNation) — Firefighters in western Florida responded to numerous electric vehicle fire calls after they became trapped in floodwaters caused by Hurricane Ian, according to a state official.

In twitter, Jimmy Patronis, Florida firefighter and chief financial officer, shared a video of a fire crew fighting an electric vehicle fire. He said when batteries corrode after coming into contact with salt water, they can start fires that are difficult to extinguish.

“It takes special training and understanding of EVs to ensure these fires are extinguished quickly and safely,” Patronis said.

The video above shows firefighters with North Collier Fire Rescue, based in Naples, Florida. Floods hit the area after Hurricane Ian. flood water hitting up 18 feet in some places.

There have been a number of cases reported overseas of EV batteries burning out.

In 2018, many Maserati began to burn in the Italian Port of Savona after flooding in the area. The saltwater came into contact with the lithium battery and caught fire, according to a number of media report.

In February this year, a cargo ship carrying 4,000 luxury cars caught fire in the Atlantic Ocean, according to Reuters. The lithium-ion battery on board was the cause of the fire, although it is not clear what caused it to ignite.

Electric vehicle fires can take 10 times the amount of water to extinguish, and firefighters have been catching up as EVs have become more popular.

Lithium-ion batteries can be susceptible to “thermal runaway”, which is a type of uncontrolled self-heating fire that requires more water to extinguish.

Itemergency response guidethe Tesla Model S states that it takes between 3,000 to 8,000 gallons of water to extinguish a fire.

Gas-powered car fires require less than 1,000 gallons of water, NewsNation reported earlier this summer.

Although they may require more power sources, electric car fires are usually less common under normal conditions.

Research published by AutoinsuranceEZ notes that for every 100,000 EV cars, there are 25 fires reported, compared to about 1,500 car fires for every 100,000 gas-powered cars. Hybrid vehicles have a higher rate, with nearly 3,500 fires for every 100,000 cars.

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