A top Florida state official warned Thursday that firefighters have battled a number of fires caused by electric vehicle (EV) batteries waterlogged from Hurricane Ian, Fox News reports. EV batteries that have been waterlogged in the wake of the hurricane are at risk of corrosion, which could lead to unexpected fires, according to Jimmy Patronis, the state’s top financial officer and fire marshal.
“There’s a ton of EVs disabled from Ian. As those batteries corrode, fires start,” Patronis tweeted Thursday. “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 a follow-up tweet. “Thanks to [North Collier Fire Rescue] for their hard work.”
Patronis published a video of firefighters in Naples, Florida, battling a fire started from a Tesla EV’s battery. A bystander is overheard in the video saying that the crew had used hundreds of gallons of water attempting to put the fire out.