Blindspots/Known Unknowns – Electric vehicles catch aflame during Ian aftermath

Saltwater flooding in the state’s coastal areas caused the lithium ion batteries in electric vehicles to combust, catching fire. Firefighters near Naples had to put out six blazes related to the vehicles in the days following Ian’s landfall.

Eric Wachsman, director of Maryland’s Energy Institute, stated that the qualities of lithium ion battery cells that allow them to move a passenger vehicle also make these cells vulnerable to ignition, due to the cells having closely placed electrodes that are filled with a flammable liquid electrolyte.