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Severe Fire Hazard of Electric Vehicles Exposed In Hurricane Ian Aftermath

Florida Chief Financial Officer and State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis calls for stakeholders to respond to the problem of electric vehicle fires – saying it’s a matter of life or death.

FORT MYERS, FLORIDA — The aftermath of Hurricane Ian has highlighted the dangers of electric cars. Florida Chief Financial Officer and State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis has issued a warning regarding the severe fire hazard posed by these vehicles in combination with salt water.

“I joined North Collier Fire Rescue to assess response activities related to Hurricane Ian and saw with my own eyes an EV continuously ignite, and continually reignite, as fireteams doused the vehicle with tens-of-thousands of gallons of water,” Patronis told Florida Politics on Sunday.


In a video appealing to stakeholders on Tuesday, Patronis expanded on his experience with electric vehicle fires:

“According to local first responders, last night we had two houses burn down due to an EV that caught on fire. Started in one garage - burned down that house - burned down the house next to it. These EV’s, once they catch on fire, all you can do is let them burn to the ground. We need a partnership - we need private sector solutions on how to deal with this. Our first responders are being put in harm’s way,” he said.



Patronis has also written a letter to Jack Danielson, the head of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), where he asks for immediate guidance and points out the lack of research on the fire hazard caused by electric vehicles:

“The State Fire Marshal’s Office is in need of immediate guidance regarding the response to fires produced by electric vehicles (EVs) that are compromised as a result of lithium batteries corroding from exposure to salt water. As you are aware, Hurricane Ian impacted Southwest Florida, which shoved an immense amount of salty ocean water into coastal Southwest, Florida. Based on initial research by my office, it appears, that much of the guidance on submerged vehicles does not address specific risks associated with exposure of EVs to saltwater,” Patronis wrote in the letter.

Noting the lack of guidance on the issue of the disastrous reaction between lithium batteries and saltwater, Jimmy Patronis is requesting a meeting with key stakeholders in the electric vehicle business: Tesla, Rivian, General Motors and others.

There’s no doubt about Patronis’ frustration with the situation. In his letter to the NHTSA, Patronis writes: “I am requesting an official response to my office that can be distributed to stakeholders by no later than Friday, October 14 […] Your responses may be the difference between life and death.”


Climate expert Marc Morano claims that the push for electric cars is motivated by the desire of government and corporations to ultimately control the movement of citizens. Since electricity can be turned on or off, electric vehicle usage can be restricted in a different way than gasoline-powered cars. “All of these reports are coming out calling for the abolition of private car ownership,” Morano said in an interview.

“One of the things that the internal combustion engine gave Americans was freedom. Freedom to move, freedom to drive. The same way with cheap air travel. They’re going after that hard. It’s very clear where they want to go with this. They’ve got this threat of CO2, and they’re using for everything – the same way they’re using the threat of a virus,” Morano explained.