Electric Vehicles Catching Fire from Water Damage: Hurricane Ian

Florida’s chief fire marshal warns of EVs exploding due to damage from the catastrophic hurricane.

QUICK FACTS:
  • Florida officials are warning owners of electric vehicles that the automobiles are blowing up as a result of water damage from Hurricane Ian.
  • “There’s a ton of EVs disabled from Ian. As those batteries corrode, fires start,” Florida’s chief fire marshal Jimmy Patronis tweeted. “That’s a new challenge that our firefighters haven’t faced before. At least on this kind of scale.”
  • According to Patronis, EV batteries that have been submerged in water after the hurricane are at risk of corrosion, which could lead to potential fires.
DIRECTOR OF THE COMPETITIVE ENTERPRISE INSTITUTE’S CENTER FOR ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENT MYRON EBELL:

“[The EV push] is really kind of a con job,” Ebell told Fox News this summer. “It may be a good deal for some people in some places under some circumstances. But by-and-large right now, it’s not a good deal.”

BACKGROUND:
  • In June 2022, American Faith reported that Ford was recalling nearly 50,000 electric vehicles in response to a defect with the cars’ batteries, which could lead to a loss of power while driving.
  • “In the affected vehicles, it is possible that the high voltage battery main contactors may overheat, which can result in an open contactor or welding condition. Should the contactors weld closed while driving, a powertrain malfunction warning light will be illuminated on the next drive cycle, along with a no start condition,” the company said at the time.
  • Last month, states including California announced that they would ramp up their electric vehicle sales after passing new legislation to phase out the sale of gas cars within the next 13 years.