We have come across several reports this year where we saw cars getting destroyed after they get stuck on flooded roads. By now, it is clearly established that water and cars they don’t go well together. Not just India but, many other countries have also been experiencing heavy rains and other natural disasters. Hurricane Ian was one of the recent one to hit USA. The hurricane has now passed and a week after the storm passed, we are getting reports of electric cars catching fire. The EVs are catching fire after remaining submerged under water for almost a week.
The video has been shared by News Nation on their YouTube channel. In this video, the channel shares report related EV fires in the state. Florida was one of the worst hit states. The incidents related to EVs are being reported from this region only. The report mentions that the many electric vehicles that got submerged in water during the hurricane are catching fire when the owner is trying to start it. What makes even more complicated is that putting off the fire in an EV is that the cells in the battery pack keep on exploding one after the other like a chain reaction.
There are no proper guidelines given to the first responders and fire fighters on how they should deal with such fires. The report mentions that one of the firefighters even said that it requires a lot of water and foam to finally extinguish an EV fire. The officers have advised public to not start their EVs if in case it was submerged in water. In case, there car was affected by the flood, they are asking them to push the car out from the garage to the driveway or road to avoid any major accidents.
The main cause of fire in the electric cars is the salt water. Lithium-ion battery packs in EVs are water resistant but, they are not build to keep the water out for a longer period of time. In this case, the vehicles that are catching fire were submerged under water for weeks. This has given water enough time to slowly seep into the battery pack. Most of the electric cars including Tesla have battery packs on the floor and that is again making thing difficult. The salt water might have corroded the batteries and when the owner comes back to start the car, there is a short circuit and that leads to fire in the battery pack.
We have seen many people drive Tesla trough flooded roads. In most of the cases, the car was in water for a very brief period of time. Many departments are even submerging the salt water affected electric cars in fresh water to avoid fire or re-ignition. This does not mean people driving ICE vehicles are safe. If your car was flooded, then it is always a good option to get the vehicle inspected at an authorized dealership before starting it. There are chances that the water might have entered the engine and such inspection would help you avoid any major damage to the vehicle.