Just 3% of all the vehicles sold in Florida last year were electric; however, that number is expected to grow as the price of the vehicles falls, charging infrastructure expands and gas prices continue to rise.
While this may be good news from the environment, it presents a host of challenges for emergency crews.
“We fought the fire initially and extinguished it and we got very cool temperatures initially, but the batteries reheated on their own and caught fire again,” says Captain Greg Hubbard of Orange County Fire and Rescue. “We had to go back out there (salvage yard) and put out the fire again.” Not only do the battery packs on electric vehicles require more than three times the normal amount of water to cool, they can also reignite. “It is absolutely something we are aware of and something we train for,” says Capt. Hubbard.