Electric vehicles are dangerous in storm surges, Florida's chief financial officer, Jimmy Patronis, told Newsmax's "John Bachman Now."
"We're touring the destruction there in Naples, and we see a lot of cars on the side of the road — it was a major flood event. So those cars are disabled and the neighborhoods, we stop in one house, there's a Tesla inside the garage, and the fire chief is saying, 'Jimmy, they've got to get that car out of the garage. You can see the windows starting to get misty from humidity,' Patronis desrcibed the tense moments.
"He said if it's inoperable and the house did have significant saltwater damage, the corrosion will then trigger a fire. It wasn't 30 seconds after he said that we responded to that call you have on your screen right now," in reference to a video of firefighters putting out a fire on a white Tesla after Hurricane Ian pummeled the west side of the state.
"We shut down Tamiami Trail, which is a six-lane highway," Patronis said. "The firefighters put out the fire, got it under control. Later that day, it reignited. These things are incredibly dangerous, and saltwater and EVs do not mix."
Florida is second in the nation behind California for EVs, with more than 95,000 registered in the state as of August.
The Biden administration has incentivized Americans to switch to EVs and set a goal of 50% of new cars being EVs by 2030.
Patronis said Hurricane Ian did a number on automobiles in Florida.
"This was a massive car event," he said. "So total loss of automobiles, probably one of the largest ever in the history recorded in the state of Florida. These cars have to be moved off the road. They have to be placed in a secure place because these EVs ignite."
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