Oops, Electric Vehicles Are Exploding After Water Damage from Hurricane Ian

EVs catch on fire after water damage from Hurricane Ian. (Credit: Twitter/Jimmy Patronis, Florida State Fire Marshal)

President Joe Biden, California Governor Gavin Newsom and Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg all want you to buy electric vehicles in the future, with Newsom even aiming to ban gas-powered cars by 2035. Just be prepared that your new automobile might explode if the battery gets too wet.

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Jimmy Patronis, Florida’s Chief Financial Officer & State Fire Marshal, tweeted Thursday:

It’s hard to make out exactly what people are saying in the above video, but the reporter seems to say, “So they’ve already put on 1,500 gallons of water on this and it’s still going.” The firefighter on scene responds, “oh, and this will burn for days.”

I’m sure that’s environmentally friendly.

The problem stems from water getting into the lithium battery, which causes corrosion—which could then cause a fire. Hurricane Ian ripped through Florida last week, causing immense damage and killing over 100 people. While officials were on high alert, exploding cars were not at the top of their list of worries.

American EVs aren’t the only transportation devices experiencing this problem. Indian English-language daily the Deccan Herald details numerous reports of batteries in electric scooters exploding, sometimes causing death:

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These incidents don’t appear to involve water, so they are different than the Florida cases. Worrisome just the same, however.

In the second quarter of this year, EV sales in the U.S. accounted for about 5.6 percent of the market. RedState’s Mike Miller wrote a devastating critique of EVs in July where he pointed out that two studies showed they aren’t actually better for the environment and they have more quality issues than gas-powered autos. Miller told us about a National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) report which found that:

Researchers specifically pointed out that despite being treated by regulators as “zero-emission vehicles,” electric cars are not emissions-free. Charging an EV increases electricity demand. Renewal resources supply only 20 percent of the country’s electricity needs. The remaining 80 percent were generated by fossil fuels such as coal and natural gas, despite billions of dollars in green subsidies.

He also focused on a report by J.D. Power:

Owners of electric or hybrid vehicles cite more problems than do owners of gas-powered vehicles. The latter vehicles average 175 problems per 100 vehicles (PP100), hybrids average 239 PP100, and battery-powered cars — excluding Tesla models — average 240 PP100. Tesla models average 226 PP100. Given the average cost of an electric car is roughly $60,000, about $20,000 more than the cost of a gas-powered car, it seems owners of EVs didn’t get the value they deserve.

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I’m not against the concept of electric vehicles, and maybe one day they’ll be ready for prime time. But right now there are still a host of problems—from exploding cars to environmentally disastrous graphite mining; to the distance you can drive; to where you’re going to charge up. Laughably, California asked residents in August not to charge their cars because the energy grid couldn’t handle it.

“[The EV push] is really kind of a con job,” Myron Ebell, the director of the Competitive Enterprise Institute’s Center for Energy and Environment, told FOX Business in July. “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.”

Especially if it explodes.

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