Florida Firefighters Warn About Electric Car Fires After Hurricane

Estimated read time 2 min read

You might not want to park the Tesla in the garage.

Lately, every time there’s a hurricane that rips through Florida, a few days afterward there’s a wave of electric car fires. Firefighters have once again sounded the alarm after Idalia passed through the Sunshine State since apparently a lot of people haven’t heard about the risk.

Are electric cars ideal for natural disasters?

The problem is EVs and salt water just don’t mix well. Days after being flooded by salt water, Teslas and other electric cars can spontaneously combust. Obviously, this is especially concerning if the vehicle is sitting inside a garage or other structure, even near one.

Hybrid vehicles are at the same risk as all-electric models, lest anyone think otherwise.

Palm Harbor Fire Rescue took to Facebook to warn about the danger, showing photos of an EV fire that had just been extinguished in Dunedin. Pinellas Park Fire Department said a Tesla that was being towed after it was flooded by seawater caught fire suddenly and was completely destroyed, as covered by Fox Weather.

As one might imagine, plenty of people are spooked by these fires and they should be. Not taking saltwater damage to an EV seriously can have dire consequences. While it’s possible the vehicle might not burst into flames, failing to take precautions could mean losing your home, life, etc.

For its part, Tesla has warned its customers that if their vehicle has been submersed in water of any salinity, like during a hurricane, they should treat the EV as if it had been in a collision. That means contacting your insurance carrier and possibly filing a claim.

All these warnings apply to anything with a lithium-ion battery, including e-bikes, scooters, golf carts, etc. since they too can spark a fire inside their battery packs after sitting in salt water.

Images via Palm Harbor Fire Rescue

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