Electric Vehicles and Hurricane Ian

Each time a natural disaster occurs people who oppose electric vehicles ask us to imagine how much worse it would be if all vehicles were electric. It’s a powerful argument, without electricity how are electric vehicles going to recharge, especially if the power is out for a prolonged period? Electric vehicle proponents do not mention such things but if we are honest with ourselves at times like this a sneaking doubt does creep in that maybe we made a mistake going all electric for our transportation.

During natural disasters stories often circulate about how electric vehicles fared much better than imagined and maybe even thrived when compared to gasoline vehicles. It’s counter intuitive, I mean how is that even possible? Hurricane Ian left millions without power in central Florida, and tragically many lost their lives or properties during the disaster.

I examined plug-share to see if rapid charge stations were operational or just dark and useless. I was surprised to see that fairly close to landfall many rapid charging stations were working and drivers were able to charge their cars.

Sarasota Superchargers operational

Sarasota Supercharger operational.

Not only was a driver able to charge he noted that lines for an adjacent gas station were very long. So long they blocked access to the supercharger it was necessary to take a diversion.

Supercharger has both cell service and internet service

Port Charlotte – Closer to landfall. Electrify America station working.

Closer still to landfall than Sarasota, Port Charlotte had an operational Walmart rapid charger provided by Electrify America. Service was intermittent but a driver was able to get a partial charge. As is the norm with natural disasters both Tesla and Electrify America provide free charging sessions. The opposite is true for gasoline drivers when gasoline goes up in price. Florida had to pass anti price gouging laws that apply during hurricanes.

Very close to landfall stations are working intermittently

Tampa has free charging for all

Further North in Tampa stations are all operating normally. All on free vend.

Tamps Electrify America Stations all on free vend.

Despite what people tell you, electric vehicles are not a problem during natural disasters and maybe be better off than their gasoline counterparts. Gas stations will run out of gas until supplies can be re-established, panic buying will be rife. Once electricity service is restored rapid charging stations come online, one doesn’t have to wait for a new delivery to come by truck, it’s instantaneous.

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