Jimmy Patronis, Florida’s top financial officer and fire marshal, warned the public on Thursday that waterlogged electric vehicle batteries are causing fires.
These batteries are waterlogged due to the effects of Hurricane Ian. The EV batteries are at corrosion risk, meaning that there could be unexpected fires.
According to a video of firefighters in Naples putting out a Tesla EV’s battery fire, they used “hundreds of gallons of water” to combat it. It is unknown how many EVs were damaged or caught fire throughout the storm.
Hurricane Ian was a Category 4 storm, causing over 100 deaths and millions of blackouts.
The Biden administration has been pushing EVs as a “greener” alternative this past year. From April 2022 to June 2022, 5.6% of new car purchases nationwide were EVs, an increase from the first few months of the year.
As of this June, Texas has around 80,900 EV registrations, one of the highest in the nation, second only to Florida and California.
Biden’s goal is that 50% of new car sales will be EVs by 2030.
However, the support for EVs is far from unanimous, and some believe that electric cars are being misrepresented as the obvious choice when they can be expensive, unreliable, and pose substantial environmental risks themselves.
For example, a 2021 study published in the Journal of Cleaner Production documented that despite promises of lower environmental impact, current EVs actually cause more damage in several significant categories.
The study claimed “current and future energy scenario predictions show that electric vehicles will produce an increase in fine particulate matter formation (26%), human carcinogenic (20%) and non-carcinogenic toxicity (61%), terrestrial ecotoxicity (31%), freshwater ecotoxicity (39%), and marine ecotoxicity (41%) relative to petrol vehicles.”
Similarly, the director of the Competitive Enterprise Institute’s Center for Energy and Environment, Myron Ebell, suggested that the coordinated push by the administration and the industry is “really kind of a con job,” explaining, “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.”