Hurricane Ian Electric Vehicle Fire. Source Twitter, Fair Use, Low Resolution Image to Identify the Subject.

New Hurricane Ian Challenge: Spontaneously Combusting Electric Vehicles

h/t Davlar and Yooper; Flooded electric vehicle fires on a scale firefighters have never faced before, according to Florida’s top fire marshal Jimmy Patronis.

Flooded Electric Vehicles Spontaneously Catch On Fire In Florida After Hurricane

FRIDAY, OCT 07, 2022 – 11:07 PM

“There’s a ton of EVs disabled from Ian. As those batteries corrode, fires start,” according to Jimmy Patronis, Florida’s top financial officer and fire marshal. 

Patronis tweeted Thursday that after Hurricane Ian made landfall last week and flooded regions of his state, a bunch of electric vehicles (EVs) were caught in floods, batteries were waterlogged, and some spontaneously caught on fire. 

He said, “that’s a new challenge that our firefighters haven’t faced before. At least on this kind of scale.”

“It takes special training and understanding of EVs to ensure these fires are put out quickly and safely,” he continued in another tweet. “Thanks to [North Collier Fire Rescue] for their hard work.”

Read more:

The following tweet is from the Zero Hedge article;

The problem is electric vehicle batteries contain dangerously reactive chemicals When shorted by floodwater the large electric current causes batteries rapidly corrode and disintegrate, a process which can occur in a matter of minutes.

The fires which occur when the floodwaters subside from the corroded batteries are difficult to extinguish, and can burn hot enough to melt steel and concrete.

If that wasn’t enough, smoke from electric battery fires is toxic. Lithium contamination and poisoning can cause serious short and long term health problems, including coma, seizures, confusion, rapid heart rate and nausea. Lithium exposure can also cause long term dementia like brain injuries.

To their credit, Florida fire officers and leadership seem to have the problem under control. But what about the future? If more people purchase electric vehicles, this problem, which is unique to electric vehicles, could become a major burden for fire responders attempting to deal with the aftermath of future natural disasters.

4.9 41 votes
Article Rating
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Elliot W
October 9, 2022 10:09 am

I’m waiting for insurance companies to start raising premiums on EVs for the risk of those EVs catching fire in highrise underground parking garages whilst charging.

Reply to  Elliot W
October 9, 2022 10:53 am

If the EV is parked in a house-integral garage, if the property is susceptible to flooding, the house insurance premium will reflect increased risk of fire.

Last edited 5 months ago by vuk
Reply to  Vuk
October 9, 2022 11:28 am

There is no way on earth I would charge an ev in an integral garage. Imagine trying to escape in that sort of fire

Reply to  Redge
October 9, 2022 7:17 pm

It is a major concern and roads and traffic authorities should be taking the danger into account when approving EV for registration as a public safety major issue.

In Australia the authorities require EVs to display a blue triangle sticker on the front and read registration number plates for identification purposes to alert fire brigades and other authorities to what they are dealing with at accident sites and other areas.

Reply to  Vuk
October 9, 2022 1:49 pm

Chances are good that insurers would refuse to write policies that cover that kind of risk. They are already threatening to leave Florida altogether over hurricanes – this kind of risk would just hasten that decision.

Reply to  rho
October 9, 2022 6:06 pm

Where did you read that insurers want to leave Florida over hurricanes? Given how few hurricanes there have been in recent years, I don’t see where the problem is.

Richard Page
Reply to  MarkW
October 9, 2022 11:04 pm

Not exactly leave but close down – several insurance companies have gone bust this year not necessarily because of hurricane or storm damage but because of fraud and lawsuits in a legal environment that isn’t favourable to most insurers. There have, apparently, been numerous cases where Florida residents without flood insurance (only about 14% have it through the National Flood Insurance Program) will claim it as wind damage through their insurer; also add to that the contractor’s who are making fortunes out of spurious roof damage insurance claims. Property insurance is estimated to be about 3 times higher than other parts of the USA and, even so, insurers are being forced out of business in Florida.

William Crunkhorn
Reply to  Richard Page
October 10, 2022 9:14 am

As a Cape Coral resident, I can confirm scams are frequent. Contractors knocking on your door saying claim wind damage to the roof, and get it repaired on the insurance. This not after any wind or storm. Why insurance companies do not check is beyond me.

Peta of Newark
Reply to  Vuk
October 10, 2022 1:28 am

In the UK nowadays, if your property is liable to flooding, you won’t get insurance. period.

There is some sort of Government-backed scheme whereby low-lying houses can get flood cover, but……
We’re from the Government and we’re here to help

Dave Andrews
Reply to  Vuk
October 10, 2022 6:47 am

Every year Local Authorities in the UK approve house building schemes on floodplains despite the objections of the Environment Agency and others. This is why the Government had to introduce the Flood Re scheme with insurers so people in these areas could get ‘affordable’ house insurance.

In many areas more than 1 in 6 properties built before 2009 are at a higher risk of flooding. The Flood Re scheme does not take account of EV ownership. Expect premiums to rocket!

lee riffee
Reply to  Elliot W
October 9, 2022 11:08 am

I wouldn’t be surprised to see additions to leases in rental properties that have garages reflecting whether or not EVs can be parked in them and if so, what the extra fees might be. I remember the last apartment I rented many years ago that had a box on the lease that I had to check stating that I did not have a water bed…and that water beds were prohibited in the units. Now it will be asking if the renter has an EV and if so either they cannot park it in the garage or the EV owner will be considered liable for any fire damage that might occur.

Elliot W
Reply to  lee riffee
October 9, 2022 2:51 pm

My MIL’s highrise has its parking underneath the building. Tony place, lots of EVs . The EVs are allowed to recharge in their assigned parking spots. If and when one combusts, the entire building may be unliveable (toxic fumes) or even torn down (structural damage due to high heat). For certain no fire truck could get in with the capability of dousing a fire of that nature. But those wealthy folks disregard the danger, telling me if EVs were that dangerous, they would be banned by govt. Insert eye roll here.

Reply to  Elliot W
October 9, 2022 7:19 pm

Well apparently EVs are so safe and good for us that governments are effectively handicapping internal combustion engine vehicles planning to phase them out over time, not too distant future.


Reply to  lee riffee
October 10, 2022 4:45 pm

EV owners are rich–but what if they cause $3 million or $30 million of damage and all their possessions and income total to say $25,000 or even $500,000? “You are liable” will usually prove a ridiculous joke. What about that?

And what if they sign a lease prohibiting EVs–and then violate it?

Reply to  Elliot W
October 9, 2022 11:35 am

Yes, it will be interesting to see how these change. Tesla Model 3 insurance premiums are already on the high side.,insurance%20across%20all%20car%20models.

Reply to  Elliot W
October 9, 2022 1:45 pm

WRT oil spills; Aren’t there’s regs in some places where the private environmental clean-up companies can just show up, clean-up or provide remediation, and send the responsible vehicle owner a bill?

In turn, shouldn’t they be able to do that with an elec car (and a bigger bill)?

October 9, 2022 10:09 am

Perhaps the worst result of climate alarmism are battery powered vehicles…from mining of the ingredients through the disposal of used batteries they potentially are far more ecologically damaging that fossil fuel power

Old Man Winter
October 9, 2022 10:30 am

Who will save them when these are outlawed?

Last edited 5 months ago by Old Man Winter
Reply to  Old Man Winter
October 9, 2022 11:38 am

It would be pretty stupid to use EV power repair trucks but I’m not sure we’ve hit peak stupidity yet. Two words, “let’s go Brandon.”

Reply to  Scissor
October 9, 2022 1:25 pm

But think of all the three letter word activity it will create: J O B S

Reply to  Scissor
October 9, 2022 3:45 pm

Right up there with using batteries to run our military! I don’t suspect China, Russia, or any other sane military gives a crap about emissions when trying to destroy their enemies.
if the U.S. military continues to go electric, heaven help us all.

Reply to  BigE
October 9, 2022 7:22 pm

The Australian Defence Force is trialling an armoured troop carrier “Bushmaster” with electric motors and battery pack, range 200 kilometres compared to the Diesel engine model with 1,000 kilometres range.

To add to the farce the range and recharging problems are being considered with a plan to install Diesel generators to recharge the vehicles.

It is indeed a mad world.

By the way, publicity states that these EVs will be stealthy and offer a major advantage accordingly. Stay under 200 kilometres and don’t recharge.

Last edited 5 months ago by Dennis
Reply to  Old Man Winter
October 9, 2022 11:41 am

Oh, the CAGW devotees will claim that if we had transitioned sooner, we would have the grid infrastructure and the number of EVs, including industrial vehicles, to meet the demand.

This article illustrates that such a plan would simply have resulted in thousands more flaming EVs and NO ICE vehicles to come to the rescue.

Reply to  TEWS_Pilot
October 9, 2022 9:39 pm

Would be interesting to figure out what proportion of EVs immolated and run that protection out for 80-90% EV usage… would the fire departments be able to keep up? If not, the situation then turns into a potentially large number of uncontrolled toxic, self oxidising electrical fires along with a fire department totally involved in fighting as many a they can, therefore unable to respond to other incidents.

Richard Page
Reply to  MarkH
October 9, 2022 11:09 pm

I’m just wondering how many EV’s with 10-15 year old batteries just ‘happened’ to find themselves in deep water after Hurricane Ian. It might have been quite convenient for some owners!

Ron Long
October 9, 2022 10:42 am

“… can cause …confusion, rapid heart rate, and nausea.” I used to have a problem with spontaneous combustion, but not any more.

Pat from kerbob
October 9, 2022 11:10 am

This story would have been a good place to insert the AOC comment how Florida would be better off with EVs than ICE’s, just one more galactically stupid comment from her

Reply to  Pat from kerbob
October 9, 2022 11:47 am

After that insult, Greta is leaving….

comment image 

Reply to  Pat from kerbob
October 9, 2022 7:26 pm

During the 2019-2020 bushfire season on the East Coast of Australia a family on holidays driving in an EV discovered that there was no electricity available, they could not evacuate from the bushfire zone as authorities were demanding.

A local tradesman gave them a lift in his crew cab 4WD Diesel utility vehicle.

October 9, 2022 11:11 am

A surge in unwanted cars, albeit with informed consent. Think of the batteries!

Reply to  n.n
October 9, 2022 7:27 pm

They will be well entrenched, landfill.

Reply to  Dennis
October 10, 2022 8:20 am

Or sunk off shore to make fishing reefs.
Though take batteries, glass & plastic out first!


Bruce Cobb
October 9, 2022 11:16 am

See? Climate change!

lee riffee
October 9, 2022 11:18 am

Personally I don’t think that EVs will ever have the market penetration that the greens hope until they can come up with a way to power them that isn’t akin to a chemical bomb on wheels.
I’ve seen people argue (here and other places) that ICE vehicles catch fire far more often (which is true, because there are a lot more of them!). But, they don’t catch fire under water or when flooded, and they can easily be put out.
This would be like saying that rottweilers bite far fewer people than do toy poodles and other toy breeds. Which is true…but which is far more likely to send someone (especially a child) to the hospital – a bite from a tiny dog or a really big dog? EV fires are far less common but way worse to deal with!

Michael Jankowski
Reply to  lee riffee
October 9, 2022 1:47 pm

Well some states and countries are legislating ICEs out of existence – with many major car manufacturers on board – so their market penetration is going up whether we like it or not. We’ll see where it ends.

Gunga Din
Reply to  Michael Jankowski
October 9, 2022 3:09 pm

Invest in bicycles and skateboards!
Brandon once drove an 18-wheeler skateboard.

October 9, 2022 11:18 am

“When shorted by floodwater”

-especially salt water.

I wouldn’t be surprised if EV batteries have a shorter life in coastal towns due to salt-spray and and more salt in the air in general. Salt water and EV batteries cannot be a good combination.

John Shotsky
Reply to  BobM
October 9, 2022 11:38 am

The fire is caused by the battery being shorted out and destroying itself, not from mere coastal climate mist. Shorting, as in putting a wrench between the terminals. Salt water is like a wrench, to a battery.

Carlo, Monte
Reply to  John Shotsky
October 9, 2022 11:44 am

Kirchoff comes up out of his grave to let you know you’ve violated one of his laws.

Reply to  John Shotsky
October 9, 2022 12:40 pm

Depending on how strong the offshore wind is, that coastal breeze can have traces of salt in it.

John Shotsky
Reply to  MarkW
October 9, 2022 3:11 pm

That isn’t the point. The batteries are self-destructing because they were submerged in salt water which shorts them out causing them to overheat and destroy themselves. A ‘breeze’ is not going to be a problem.

Reply to  John Shotsky
October 9, 2022 6:10 pm

The point is that you don’t need to submerge the car in order for salt and salt water to cause corrosion.

Reply to  MarkW
October 10, 2022 3:20 pm

MarkW, Yes, my intent was to highlight both – submerging in salt water clearly bad, but salt and salt water environments, like coastal areas and as others have pointed out, salted roads in winter, could be potential issues for corrosion and battery life, or ignition as the case may be.

Reply to  John Shotsky
October 10, 2022 11:32 am

Internet classic:
Even more salt!

Dave Fair
Reply to  BobM
October 9, 2022 11:51 am

Bob, my question exactly. In any environment (especially costal and roadway salt-use areas) corrosion is a fact of life for any piece of equipment. Does normal corrosion provide a danger to EV owners or the general public? Have there been any studies of the role of corrosion in EV operations and maintenance?

Are there any movements to require prominent hazardous warning stickers on EVs? Given our society’s extreme fear-based reaction to anything and everything, how can hazardous EVs avoid fire safety regulations? Every piece of equipment or other product has extensive lists of warnings required by regulations. Just think of the warnings not to eat desiccant bags!

Moderately Cross of East Anglia
Reply to  Dave Fair
October 9, 2022 2:17 pm

In the U.K. large amounts of rough salt are sprayed out of trucks onto major and busy roads whenever there is a forecast of frost. This happens for some five months of most most winters.
The trucks trundle along at about 30 to 40 mph on motorways with cars going past them trying to get through the paint stripping spray of salt fragments as quickly as possible.

Watching battery driven cars attempting to do this could become an interesting new winter Olympic sport if the tendency to burst into flames is true, as U.K. roads are often wet and salty at the same time.

Another ill thought out part of toy battery car technology then ?

Reply to  Moderately Cross of East Anglia
October 9, 2022 3:57 pm

Here in Northeastern Ohio US winters, a lot of salt gets put down on the roads to melt the snow during snow storms resulting in a lot salty water being thrown around by the cars driving through the resulting salty mess. Not a problem if the EV power packs are well sealed, but if not, in the long run it it could result in shortened battery pack life and/or battery fires. Of course, the cold does bad things to the battery life even if the salt does’t get the batteries.

Reply to  RicDre
October 9, 2022 4:58 pm

I think the number of spontaneous battery fires, particularly lithium based ones, Demonstrates that Lithium based batteries are simply unfit for the intended purpose. There are many safer, easier to manufacture, and in the end cheaper because of cheaper materials.

Reply to  RicDre
October 10, 2022 7:42 pm

Even if the batteries are sealed, I’ve seen enough cars with body panels completely rusted out to know that the corrosion will eventually get through to the batteries.

Reply to  Dave Fair
October 9, 2022 4:45 pm

Not a prominent hazardous warning sticker but yes here in Australia EV’s must have a special license plate.

Dave Fair
Reply to  RexAlan
October 9, 2022 5:12 pm

Thanks, Rex. Is there a publicity campaign for the general public to warn them of the hazards of EVs, especially those of parking them in attached garages? Have the owners of high rise facilities been warned of the dangers of parking EVs in their lower levels? Are the insurance companies glomming on the hazards and their potential costs? [I know, I know; rhetorical questions.]

Reply to  Dave Fair
October 9, 2022 5:37 pm

Not that I’m aware of. I live in an apartment building with enclosed parking underneath. I’m on the management committee of the building and will vehemently oppose anybody who suggests installing an EV battery charger in our building.

Dave Fair
Reply to  RexAlan
October 9, 2022 6:01 pm

How about people parking EVs in your underneath parking? Same danger of uncontrollable fires and toxic fumes.

Would the politicians and bureaucrats even allow you to ban hazardous EVs? After all, they are forcing you to say men can get pregnant.

Have you brought up this issue with the others on the management committee? What do you imagine their or the tenants’ reactions would be to those very real dangers?

Last edited 5 months ago by Charlie Skeptic
Reply to  Dave Fair
October 9, 2022 6:44 pm

We don’t currently have any EV’s parking under the building. We did have one about 2 years ago but he was only here for a short while.

I had a real go at him at the time because he was plugging it into the buildings power supply and getting a free charge. He didn’t do it again after that.

I have mentioned to others on the committee about what I see as a dangerous hazard but they don’t seem to take it seriously. As I said before I would be vehemently opposed to any request re installing a charger and if I failed to stop it I would probably sell my apartment and move out as I don’t need parking myself.

Last edited 5 months ago by RexAlan
Reply to  RexAlan
October 9, 2022 7:03 pm

Shouldn’t this be the symbol?

Reply to  JBP
October 10, 2022 4:08 am

Or perhaps a dunce cap?

Reply to  rah
October 10, 2022 3:45 pm

Skull & crossbones has more impact!

Reply to  Philo
October 10, 2022 7:46 pm

A skull and crossbones wearing a dunce cap?

Reply to  BobM
October 10, 2022 4:05 am

What about salt and Sodium Chloride treatments on roads? Will there come a time when EVs driving in salty slush some winter start bursting into flames?

And just imagine what would have happened if a bunch of those homes that were flooded by Ian had those home battery backup systems they’ve been pushing and the government is subsidizing?

October 9, 2022 11:25 am

I’m waiting for the emergence of a new Tesla, supplied without battery. Surely Elon Musk will eventually see there is a market for a vehicle not a vehicle, but merely a lawn ornament to radiate the virtue of the homeowner.

Steve Case
Reply to  roaddog
October 9, 2022 11:35 am

Good one (-: I had no idea where you were going with that. Ha ha ha ha!

Reply to  roaddog
October 9, 2022 1:23 pm

Just make it a Potemkin prop with a 2 x 4 hinged on the back that folds out to keep it standing.

Reply to  roaddog
October 9, 2022 7:29 pm

Is he trialling the Fred Flintstone design?

Ty hallsted
Reply to  roaddog
October 9, 2022 8:50 pm

I haven’t confirmed this but my son told me that China prices EVs without batteries and the buyer then purchases a separate battery subscription based on planned use. When the battery pack gets low they pull into a “battery swap” service station and the battery pack is replaced with a fully charged one in a few minutes.

Reply to  Ty hallsted
October 9, 2022 9:07 pm

The idea that batteries for electric cars could be swapped out in minutes has been dragged out from time to time as a solution to long charge times for batteries.
The problem is that nobody is even trying to build such things, for the simple reason that the very idea is impossible.
That don’t exist in the US, they don’t exist in Europe and they don’t exist in China.

Ty Hallsted
Reply to  MarkW
October 10, 2022 4:30 am

Got curious so did some due-diligence. Whatever the technical problems are/were, they appear to have been overcome and the process seems poised to explode in China.

“The taxis operated in the suburbs of Beijing, using some 200 swapping stations. At the time, I lived in such a suburb and there was a swapping station not that far from my home. A swap took 4 minutes and the cars had a range of 220 kilometers. The project was a success and the taxis remained in service until 2020.” –

“Four companies – automakers Nio and Geely, battery swap developer Aulton and state-owned oil producer Sinopec (600028.SS) – say they plan to establish a total of 24,000 swap stations across the country by 2025, up from about 1,400 today.” –

John Endicott
Reply to  MarkW
October 10, 2022 7:11 am

Mark, while such a scheme may not be economically feasible, it’s not physically impossible (as China has already proven per Ty’s links). Even Tesla, here in the states, did it back in 2013 with the Model S, so clearly not physically impossible. (Tesla eventually discontinued the idea, having deemed it “not suitable for widespread use”. Translation: it would be too costly, and subsidies earmarked for swapping didn’t exist or weren’t sufficient to cover the cost).

One of the biggest problems with the idea is that the EVs would need a standardized design with ease of swapping built into the design. Currently, each EV manufacturer is doing its own thing in regards to battery size and location in the vehicle, meaning a swap station that would work for a Tesla EV, wouldn’t be of much use to a Toyota EV and vice versa.

Shoki Kaneda
October 9, 2022 11:33 am

Who would have thought that submerging in salt water batteries charged with several hundred amp/hours would make them explode?

October 9, 2022 11:38 am

Gosh, I guess we “Climate Skeptics” were all wrong !!!! Man IS causing “GlowBULL Warming !!!” But It isn’t from all the EXHAUST from ICE cars and trucks and tractors and construction equipment or Coal Plants or Natural Gas, it is from ALL OF THE EXPLODING AND BURNING ELECTRIC VEHICLES !!!!

Reply to  TEWS_Pilot
October 9, 2022 4:33 pm

Hahaha! But there aren’t yet enough burning EVs to affect the climate. Be patient: Brandon is doing his best…
The “real” reason for global warming is that fossil fuels allowed humans to live much longer
[life expectancy nearly doubled from 1900 to 2019] thus there are so many candles on our birthday cakes that … well, it’s complicated… but I saw it on some internet fact-checker site so it must be correct!
The “war on carbon-based life forms” by our Overlords must continue till the Earth’s population is “sustainable”.
/sarc off

Carlo, Monte
October 9, 2022 11:39 am

And even if the battery doesn’t commit self immolation, it is likely to be rendered unusable resulting in a multi-tens-of-thousands replacement cost. New car time…

Reply to  Carlo, Monte
October 9, 2022 12:43 pm

Even ICE cars are often rendered useless if they are fully immersed in water. The difference is that they don’t catch fire while drying out.

Reply to  MarkW
October 9, 2022 1:52 pm

They are also not as expensive to replace.

Reply to  rho
October 10, 2022 3:55 pm

They also use less expensive fuel and have many fewer fire problems,

Gunga Din
Reply to  MarkW
October 9, 2022 3:28 pm

Also in older ICE vehicles with no circuit boards, if the engine etc. are properly serviced afterward, the corrosion will show up in the body rusting faster.

Old Man Winter
October 9, 2022 11:45 am

Mebbe it’s time for the WEF to listen to people who can
“Git ‘Er Done”!

Dave Fair
Reply to  Old Man Winter
October 9, 2022 11:54 am

All 4X4 trucks and ATVs. No EVs in sight!

Bryan A
Reply to  Dave Fair
October 9, 2022 12:39 pm

Likely even an EV Hummer would face battery issues after traversing that wet field

Reply to  Bryan A
October 9, 2022 1:20 pm

There is a story currently in the news of a man who paid $118,000 for a Hummer EV and had to have it towed before it reached 250 miles. Totally dead, couldn’t even unlock the doors. Couldn’t get to the terminals to recharge it…..LET’S GO BRANDON !!!

October 9, 2022 12:18 pm

Screw ups seem to be a trend in the green energy field.

October 9, 2022 12:23 pm

We are told that lithium battery fires are relatively rare. ‘They’ can produce convincing looking statistics.

The problem is that fires, in general, are relatively rare, if looked at using the same statistical methods ‘they’ use to evaluate lithium battery fires.

How about … having lithium batteries around doubles your chances of dying in a fire. link Somehow that seems like a more valid metric.

Last edited 5 months ago by commieBob
Bryan A
Reply to  commieBob
October 9, 2022 4:24 pm

How many Gas/Diesel care Spontaneously Combust?

Reply to  Bryan A
October 9, 2022 6:16 pm

A small number will spontaneously combust when there is a short in the electrical system.
However EV’s have more electric circuits in them than ICE vehicles do.

Reply to  MarkW
October 9, 2022 7:02 pm

I suspect it depends on what you count. The control system for an electric drive is wonderfully simple compared with a gasoline ICE which has spark control, injector control, and pollution control.

Reply to  commieBob
October 9, 2022 9:11 pm

Have you ever checked out the huge amount of electronics that is used to manage the charging and discharging of those batteries?

Reply to  MarkW
October 10, 2022 5:03 am


The difference is that EV electronics control a lot more power. ICE electronics is mostly small signal and digital. There are also a few actuators whose power consumption is measured in watts rather than milliwatts.

This is not to say that EV electronics aren’t complicated. I googled for tesla battery monitoring sensors and got this:

Battery pack sensors

– Multiple temperature sensors

– Accelerometer

– Tilt sensor

– Humidity sensor

– Immersion sensor

– Under/Over voltage

– Over current


It’s not that I underestimate the complication of EV control systems, it’s just that most people have no clue about how complicated ICE control systems are.

Bryan A
Reply to  commieBob
October 10, 2022 4:56 pm

They used to be far simpler prior to SMOG controls. Almost anyone could replace the plugs points and condenser and the most complicated part was the ignition module and the starter. Now you practically need to be a computer programmer to do more than change the oil

Reply to  Bryan A
October 10, 2022 7:56 pm

I am a computer programmer, and I don’t do any work on my car anymore.

Reply to  MarkW
October 10, 2022 10:06 pm

One can get an idea of the complexity of the code from a code review performed on the source code for a Toyota Camry. It was part of discovery in an unintended acceleration suit against Toyota.

Approximately 18 months of calendar time with code
– By a very experienced team of embedded systems experts
Including 3 other engineers from Barr Group
– Building upon NASA’s earlier source code review; digging deeper


The slide deck, linked above, is a much better introduction to the issues surrounding embedded programming than I have found in any textbook, including those written by Barr himself.

Reply to  commieBob
October 10, 2022 7:54 pm

I once interviewed with a company that made modules to control battery packs for electric vehicles. This was in the days before LiIon batteries.

They used some kind of automated software creation package. They create some kind of funky flow chart, then the program produced the code that then got compiled into an executable.
In order to impress me, they showed me the flow chart. I didn’t know the program they were using and didn’t recognize most of the symbols used in their chart, but I was impressed at how complex it was.

Dave Fair
Reply to  commieBob
October 9, 2022 6:12 pm

Other than talking about banning e-bikes from dwellings, there is no discussion of the hazards of EVs. Only very knowledgeable people would get “EVs are hazardous” from this article.

Allen Stoner
October 9, 2022 1:00 pm

Is there a way to put out an EV battery fire quickly? I do not think one exists unless perhaps you can somehow dump massive quantities of liquid helium on them at a rate that cools them fast enough?

No one
Reply to  Allen Stoner
October 9, 2022 2:36 pm

I saw an article where the city of Calgary firefighters became frustrated with their inability to extinguish and keep extinguished an EV fire. They did come up with a simple solution. A hole was dug in the parking lot, the vehicle put in the hole, the hole was filled with water.

I imagine the clean up was a bit more involved than a ICE fire.

Reply to  No one
October 9, 2022 5:33 pm

No One:
IIRC a lithium battery fire does not require atmospheric oxygen so it can burn underwater.
Water only conducts the heat away so the temperature eventually falls below that to maintain combustion. So the usual fire methods (water, extinguishers) don’t work.
Then there are the toxic fumes…
Then there are risks of electrocution if it shorts into the body or frame; or just know how it wired to be able to cut open the doors safely during a rescue.

What fire departments don’t have is a device that can pick-up a burning EV to just move it to a safer place to let it burn itself out.
They also don’t have liquid helium, which at 1 atmos needs to be < -269 C.

Bryan A
Reply to  Allen Stoner
October 9, 2022 4:26 pm

Using the front blade on a Backhoe, push the EV over a cliff and into the ocean. The fire will go out after only a couple of minutes.

Reply to  Bryan A
October 10, 2022 8:35 am

Electric backhoe?
Calgary to the ocean . . . .
How many recharges needed??

In the UK, everywhere is within 75 miles of the sea, tho not necessarily cliffs …..

Last edited 5 months ago by auto
Bryan A
Reply to  Auto
October 10, 2022 5:06 pm

Dover gives them a nice cliff face
Electric Backhoe, keep on driving it over too

Last edited 5 months ago by Bryan A
Paul Hurley (aka PaulH)
October 9, 2022 1:02 pm

…could become a major burden for fire responders attempting to deal with the aftermath of future natural disasters.

But the Green Blob told me if everyone drives an electric vehicle there will be no more natural disasters.


Reply to  Paul Hurley (aka PaulH)
October 9, 2022 4:04 pm

But the Green Blob told me if everyone drives an electric vehicle there will be no more natural disasters.

Yes, but they never talk about all of the unnatural disaster caused by EVs.

Reply to  Paul Hurley (aka PaulH)
October 10, 2022 4:11 pm

I can’t imagine how eliminating all electric vehicles would make a huge improvement in fire safety. Lots of ice cars have had vehicle fires. Depending on the cause the vehicle can be very dangerous, or just a nuisance.

Reply to  Philo
October 10, 2022 7:59 pm

While it is true that ICE cars also have vehicle fires, but as a percentage, the number of such fires is several orders of magnitude fewer.
And that is before you consider the average age of ICE vs electric vehicles.

October 9, 2022 1:33 pm

To their credit, Florida fire officers and leadership seem to have the problem under control.”

I don’t believe that Li fires can be put out. This post says, “There’s a ton of EVs disabled from Ian.” I assume “a ton” is meant to imply there is an unknown number of submerged EVs that potentially can spontaneously combust at unknown locations. What exactly is “under control?”

[please fix your email address currently cached in your browser, it’s an l, not an n. -cr]

Reply to  PMHinSC
October 9, 2022 2:10 pm

My email address was incorrect. I entered the correct address. Hope this fixes the problem; if no, don’t know what else to do.

Jeff Labute
October 9, 2022 1:56 pm

These articles site battery corrosion, but I wonder if it is more due to conductivity of salt water.

Anyways, I’ve seen this article in a number of places, but I don’t have any information on ‘other’ EVs that also caught fire. Anyone have info on this?

Reply to  Jeff Labute
October 9, 2022 2:06 pm

Do an Internet search on “Electric Vehicle Fires” and you will get pages of hits dating back years.

Jeff Labute
Reply to  TEWS_Pilot
October 10, 2022 3:00 pm

Im curious about hurricane Ian in particular. The media says there have been multiple fires, but I’ve only found images of the one Tesla in Naples.

“All these thousands of cars that have been compromised by saltwater, they’ve got to be captured, they’ve got to be taken to a safe place,” Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis said.

Peter Morris
October 9, 2022 2:15 pm

It’ll be fine.

Once we’re 100% renewable with 100% electric vehicles the earth will forgive us our sins and won’t send any more hurricanes.

It’s win win.

Forward slash sarcasm

Honky cat
October 9, 2022 2:43 pm

Don’t forget the polluted runoff from the hundreds of gallons of water needed to extinguish the battery blaze.

Reply to  Honky cat
October 10, 2022 11:22 am

They’re using some kind of foam.

Honky cat
Reply to  rah
October 10, 2022 7:31 pm

They’re hooked up to a hydrant in the above video. Seen other videos and they weren’t extinguishing with foam.

October 9, 2022 3:13 pm

These vehicles were flooded in salt water, what were the incidents, say, in Orlando where there was a lot of fresh water flooding? With all those virtue signaling Disney execs in the area there should have been a lot of wet EVs.

All this just points out that you can’t get there from here with lithium batteries. What’s the alternate technology?

Old Man Winter
Reply to  Yooper
October 9, 2022 6:00 pm

“What’s the alternate technology?”

Let this example be your guide!

Patrick MJD
Reply to  Old Man Winter
October 10, 2022 5:13 am


Reply to  Patrick MJD
October 10, 2022 9:01 am

before, during, & after

October 9, 2022 3:33 pm

Wheres Ralph Nader when you need him?

Dave Fair
Reply to  Davidf
October 9, 2022 6:15 pm

David, are you saying EVs are “Unsafe at any Speed.”

Reply to  Dave Fair
October 9, 2022 6:31 pm

That seems to be the implication. Plus, I wonder what an old school environmentalist and consumer safety advocate like he was, would think about the whole supply chain environment and social issues, not to mention disposal problems. Dubious consumer value absent Government subsidy interventions. Increasingly apparent public health threats from accidental conflagrations. I believe he would have been all over it.

Dave Fair
Reply to  Davidf
October 9, 2022 9:07 pm

David, I agree. Nowadays, however, Leftist political ideology trumps actual care for the environment and concern for consumer safety and wellbeing.

Reply to  Dave Fair
October 10, 2022 11:35 am

That was untrue about the Corvair however. Yes the differential would make it uncontrollable if you tromped it from a dead stop making a tight turn. That was particularly true for a right hand turn. But otherwise it was a great little car.

I had a 1966 with an automatic transmission when I was a kid. It was a blast to drive. It ate the VW bugs and Karmann Ghias for lunch in straight line power and handling.

It would go over 100 mph even with 4 good sized teenage boys in it.

If I put it in reverse and fully turned the wheel and tromped the gas it would pivot on the inside rear tire doing donuts on the snow. That was a hoot!

I had a number of muscle cars when I was a kid, but none of them were as fun to drive as that little Corvair.

Reply to  rah
October 10, 2022 2:25 pm

Probably no worse than VW axle jacking – and did you ever have anything to do with Triumph Heralds – just as bad or worse, at least the Beetle had the engine weight back there. To be honest, I was thinking more of Nadir’s involvement with the Pinto fuel tank affair – more of a direct comparison with combustible EVs.

Reply to  Davidf
October 10, 2022 8:04 pm

Have you ever seen photos from the crash that killed those 3 girls? The one that was used as a poster child for Pinto’s being dangerous.

I have. The rear bumper was pushed under the back seat. There was no car on the market that wouldn’t have caught fire in that crash.

Reply to  MarkW
October 10, 2022 9:24 pm

No – Pinto and the like were never sold in our market, so was only really aware distantly of the issue, and that consumer advocates were on the warpath. Doesn’t surprise me things weren’t as completely one sided as were portrayed – lets face it, they are playing by some very old rules. My point is, though, how the activists are more or less diametrically opposed, both in environmental and consumer issues, to what they were 50 years ago. The whole movement has been corrupted by Socialist political agendas.

Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
Reply to  Davidf
October 11, 2022 12:43 pm

Years ago at a Highland Festival I saw what had started life as the back end of a Pinto someone converted into a BBQ grill to supply his food stand.

October 9, 2022 4:15 pm

We’re going to have 3 BESS backup lithium battery systems, so far, all within a short distance of our town. One which has been approved is 200MW the other two will back up proposed wind and solar at 420MW and 500MW. Our region is not only flood prone but it also has regular grass fires. One such grass fire was ultimately stopped a few metres from the solar site and substation. The 12 fire fighting units couldn’t get near the fire because it was too boggy after all the rain. They had to call in three helicopter water bombers which were fortunately able to save the solar project which is thin film cadmium/tellurium and a nearby farmhouse.

We asked one of the firefighters how they would fight a fire on the solar project. He said “we’d let it burn, the toxic fumes are too dangerous to try to get close enough extinguish these fires”. He said “the only way to fight them is from the air”. We live three kilometres from that solar project. Hmm…I hope they have a lot of water bombers.

October 9, 2022 4:46 pm

and we all thought for years that Auto fires were really terrible!

October 9, 2022 7:14 pm

Interesting situation for people who use country back roads and cross causeways that can become flooded even when passable for vehicles.

Or even on a farm road or paddock surface when very wet.

October 10, 2022 12:10 am

if only someone had known salt water conducts

robin townsend
October 10, 2022 12:31 am

sadly, that pristine white tesla has not had a main battery lithium ion thermal runaway fire. no way.
its probably had a tyical short and wirign loom fire in the 12v syste same as any car might have.
and i havent seen a single photo that convinces me any ev has had a main battery thermal runaway fire due to hurricane ian.
still bloody stupid, and what will the world do when a tower block goes up due to ev in the basement?

Reply to  robin townsend
October 10, 2022 2:29 pm

Doesnt really matter how the fire starts, once that lithium main battery gets involved, it becomes an insurmountable problem.

Reply to  robin townsend
October 10, 2022 8:07 pm

So the fire chief was lying?

BTW, how do you tell from a photograph whether the fire started in the battery pack, or merely spread to the battery pack?

Eric Vieira
October 10, 2022 1:21 am

Lets face it: they only have less environmental impact than gasoline vehicles after 100000 miles, which is often not reached due to leasing contracts. This means that de facto these vehicles are a safety and environmental hazard. One should stop this before it’s too late.

Peta of Newark
October 10, 2022 1:47 am

Funny old stuff Lithium innit.
In large doses makes you go crazy but in total zero dosage, you also go crazy.
(Try to aim for ‘tween 1 and 2mg daily)

It was found in some (a very few) health spas from Ye Dayes of Olde when folks went to such places to take the water
Mostly they went for the Magnesium Sulphate – a nice double whammy of goodness there.
Obviously the Mg helps with heart health and mental stability, but and especially for autistic children with the eating (supposed) disorder name of pica
They have a particular affection for eating things that most kids hate – Cruciferous Vegetables – notable for their high Sulphur content = Sulphorophane strictly

Calling the Data Miners – has the incidence of autism increased since power station smoke stacks started being scrubbed?

Patrick MJD
October 10, 2022 3:19 am

These batteries carry all the oxidizers they require to burn. Once there is a short, the battery, and it may be only 1 cell initially, overheats which leads to a conflagration, which leads to more overheating, which spreads to other cells, a “run-away” effect that cannot be, or is difficult to be, extinguished.

A friend of mine has just bought an AU$72,500 Tesla S, and that is before extras and on-road costs. I think in NSW, here in Australia, road user taxes are being considered.

I think I will stick to my 46 year old Australian made Triumph 2500 TC.

October 10, 2022 4:00 am

A firefighter said it can take up to 6 hours to fully extinguish a single EV fire and clean up the scene.

Dave Andrews
Reply to  rah
October 10, 2022 7:15 am

Unfortunately though, it is known that EV fires can reignite hours, days, and even weeks after the initial event. Recovery firms are increasingly concerned about dealing with EVs according to the UK Bedfordshire Fire Service.

Steve G
October 10, 2022 4:01 am

Nah – It’s all wrong. It’s not the battery, its climate change caused that fire, like bush fires. See, climate change caused the hurricane, hurricane dumps a lot of rain, cars get flooded or washed around by storm surge, EV battery has a bath, then boom a fire. Another reason to act now on climate before these fires get worse…:) — Sarc Alert…

Barnes Moore
October 10, 2022 6:10 am

Does anyone know how many EVs caught fire following Ian? I’ve seen this same story about 3 or 4 times now, and each time the story shows the same picture and the same narrative. Not that I have any doubt that it is a serious issue, but it would be good to quantify if possible. My bet is that the entire EV market will either collapse or simply fade into irrelevancy for a variety of reasons.

John Endicott
Reply to  Barnes Moore
October 10, 2022 7:27 am

At least 4 were reported as happening “while ian raged” (out of an unknown number that was flooded). The number of Ice vehicles that spontaneously caught fire following Ian was ZERO POINT ZERO. (and keep in mind that there are magnitudes more ICE than EVs on the roads, and thus most likely magnitudes more flooded ICE than flooded EVs)

The big issue is the corrosion. Even if they aren’t catching fire in great droves immediately after being flooded by Ian, the corrosion is going to eat away and likely cause more of them to burst into flames, weeks, months, and possibly even years down the line.

Last edited 5 months ago by John Endicott
John the Econ
October 10, 2022 6:55 am

No problem. Require manufacturers to make the EVs more waterproof and the batteries of materials less susceptible to corrosion. Add another ton and $30,000 to the purchase price. After all, there’s nothing that “the smart people” can’t fix via mandates.

Andy Pattullo
October 10, 2022 9:56 am

This is a feature, not a fault. Electric vehicles are purposely designed to provide unending heat to keep people warm once utilities fail in bad weather. They can also be recycled once the fire is out into progressive sculptural pieces, though reignition will, on occasion, turn them back into fiery heat engines. And finally there is no need to worry about cognitive injury from lithium fumes – anyone who bought a Tesla was already well on the path to Biden-like mumbling and hair sniffing.

October 11, 2022 11:32 am

It alarms me that many countries have set a net-zero target for 2050 which is 28 years away. Absurdly short for such a major transition from one energy carrier (liquids) to another (electricity). Not feasible.

Peak oil was in 2018. From now on, the surplus energy available to build up a new infrastructure system, such as 1.5 billion battery-powered cars, is less abundant and more constrained than in the 20th.C.

The problems were obvious 50 years ago, though. It’s just that nothing was done after the early 80s. If anything people now are more prone to believe nonsense such as ‘the American way of life is non-negotiable’. Not if world oil production is declining by 3-5% per year, it’s not.

The interview of Prof. Simon Michaux by Nate Hagens is worth watching, also Michaux gave a talk in Aug 2022 on the challenges of finding enough rare metals for this future to come about. ‘Challenges’ is a euphemism. The chance of it ever coming about seems vanishingly small.

Kirk Griffin
October 13, 2022 7:00 am

The article talks about lithium bein
g poison. The one thing they don’t talk about is that if you put any water on lithium it bursts into a flame so hot that it will break down water into hydrogen and oxygen causing a huge explosion. Firefighters putting water on a lithium fire only makes things worse. Much worse. Lithium fires require a very special chemical fire extinguisher.

%d bloggers like this:
Verified by MonsterInsights