Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has a lot on his plate while seeking the GOP nomination.
But he was hit with one crisis that couldn’t have come at a worse time.
And Florida issued one dire warning about electric vehicles that left Ron DeSantis stunned.
Florida took a direct hit from Hurricane Idalia which nearly reached Category 3 when it hit the state’s Gulf Coast.
The threat of massive destruction and loss of life led Florida Governor Ron DeSantis to temporarily leave the campaign trail to prepare residents and the state’s response.
Ahead of the hurricane making landfall, the state’s government issued a surprising warning to residents who own electric vehicles (EVs).
Florida Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis warned EV owners and anyone with large lithium-ion battery-powered devices in areas that could be hit by the storm surge to move them to higher ground.
“We saw a number of fires associated with EVs from Hurricane Ian,” Patronis said. “We know that the saltwater from storm surge can compromise these batteries, causing fires which cannot be easily suppressed. The best fire teams can do is keep water on the battery until the fuel burns out. If you’re evacuating and leaving an EV, or other lithium ion powered devices like scooters or golf carts in your garage, you’re creating a real fire threat for your home, your communities, and first responders.”
Patronis witnessed a Tesla that caught on fire after Hurricane Ian last year that firefighters couldn’t put out.
“Take this threat seriously,” Patronis added. “If there’s even a small risk of your EV being impacted by storm surge, move it to higher ground before it’s too late.”
Hurricanes and other natural disasters are exposing another major hazard of EVs.
Teslas and other EVs exploded all over Florida during Hurricane Ian after they were flooded by the storm.
The mixture of salt water and the corroding electric battery creates fires that are extraordinarily difficult to put out because of the extreme heat.
The battery packs in EVs can reignite days after the initial fire was put out.
The guidance for Teslas says that up to 8,000 gallons of water are needed to put out a fire, eight times the amount needed for gasoline-powered cars.
Fire departments in Florida were unprepared to handle the massive number of EV fires after Hurricane Ian.
“Anytime you mix electrical components and salt water together, it is a recipe for disaster,” Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue’s Stephen Gollan told News Nation.
The issue of spontaneous EV fires after Hurricane Ian was so dangerous that many tow truck drivers refused to pick them up.
Tow truck driver Tim Baker told ABC News that an EV he hauled back to his lot caught on fire there.
“They have the potential to catch fire pretty much any time,” Baker said.
The EV push by President Joe Biden is giving Florida another problem to deal with as it prepares for future hurricanes.
DeSantis Daily will keep you up-to-date on any developments to this ongoing story.