Electric cars catch fire after flooding in Florida

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Hurricane Idalia caused widespread flooding in Florida, and some electric cars that were submerged in saltwater have caught fire. At least two Teslas have caught fire in this way, and the Palm Harbor Fire Department is warning all EV owners to remove their vehicles from their garages if they have come into contact with saltwater.

The fire department says that the lithium-ion batteries in EVs can ignite if they have been exposed to saltwater. Salt residues in the batteries can act as a conductor between the battery’s cells, potentially igniting a fire. This risk is increased for larger vehicles with more cells in their batteries.

One of these incidents happened while firefighters were towing a waterlogged Tesla in Pinellas County. This prompted the Palm Harbor Fire Department to issue a critical advisory to all EV owners, urging them to relocate their EVs to higher ground if they have encountered saltwater.

The fire department also advises people not to drive EVs through saltwater. Even if the car does not catch fire immediately, the salt residue can damage the battery and increase the risk of a fire later on.

Tesla also warns users not to drive EVs that have been submerged in water. The company recommends towing or moving such vehicles to a location at least 50 feet from structures or other combustible materials.

This is not the first time that electric cars have caught fire after being exposed to water. In June, four people were killed in New York after an e-bike repair store went up in flames due to a malfunctioning lithium-ion battery. Over the past couple of years, more than 200 fires related to lithium-ion batteries have been reported in New York alone, resulting in at least 19 deaths.

The sources for this piece include an article in TechSpot.

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