Florida’s Fire Marshall calls for EV answers after flooding

Florida State Fire Marshall Jimmy Patronis has called for electric car companies to answer for electric vehicles that have burst into flames from the storm surge of Hurricane Ian.

Orlando Weekly reports that the State Fire Marshall issued a letter to over 30 electric vehicle manufacturers, including Tesla, Rivian, Ford, GM and others, calling on the companies to “step-up, demonstrate leadership and partner with the State of Florida and local officials in this recovery.”

One house on hard-hit Sanibel Island was severely damaged after the Tesla in the garage of the home caught fire from the storm, according to a retweet from Patronis, who fears that many more EVs are a fire risk in the wake of Hurricane Ian.

“The unfortunate reality is that there is a population of vehicles that could spontaneously combust, putting our first responders at risk, and the manufacturers are nowhere to be found. For as big a risk as this is to fire teams, for companies who have received an immense sum of subsidies from taxpayers, I would have hoped the reaction by manufacturers would have been more robust – especially as these EVs supposedly have a tremendous amount of technology and connectivity,” he wrote in the letter. “There could be a family who evacuated, whose home was left relatively intact from Ian, who may still lose everything because of an abandoned EV, left in their garage, that catches fire as a result of salty storm surge waters.”

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there have been multiple recalls for EVs as once the lithium-ion batteries are damaged from saltwater, they become easily flammable and cause the vehicle to combust.

(Picture – Jimmy Patronis/Twitter)


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