Can EVs Drive Through Floods?

Electric vehicles are capable of some amazing feats because of their unique designs. EVs can do many things that internal combustion engine vehicles cannot. Electric vehicles may be the future, but just how advanced are they in comparison to gas-powered vehicles? Can electric vehicles drive through floods, unlike gas-powered vehicles?

Can an electric vehicle really drive during a flood?

Streets and household areas are flooded.
Streets and households areas are flooded | Beata Zawrzel/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Water damage is one of the worst types of damage a vehicle can experience. Vehicles that have experienced floods are often total losses. Flooding can render motors useless. They can fill engine cylinders with water and damage electrical systems. Flooding can wreak havoc on the interior of a vehicle and lead to molding and corrosion.

Flooding can seriously damage engine parts, but electric vehicle powertrains are built differently. Water can prevent air and gas from being compressed in an internal combustion engine. Electric motors aren’t dependent on air and gases. According to MotorTrend, electric vehicles cannot drive through flooding as well, but for different reasons.

What would happen if an EV gets flooded?

Cars cross a waterlogged area.
Cars cross a waterlogged area | Vipin Kumar/Hindustan Times via Getty Images

Electric vehicles may not need gas or air to function, but they are just as vulnerable to serious water damage. Water may not always stop an electric motor’s driveshaft from rotating. This does not mean EV drivers can safely zoom through floods like a speed boat. EVs produce large amounts of electrical current.

Humans can resist small amounts of electrical current, but electric vehicles produce more amps than any person can handle. Driving through a flood in an electric vehicle is not recommended. In fact, it could be even more dangerous than trying to drive through a flood in a gas-powered vehicle.

If an electric vehicle gets flooded, it could become extremely hazardous to the occupants of the vehicle. Water conducts electricity, and EVs store large amounts of electricity to rotate driveshafts. Driving an EV through a flood could cause the occupants of a vehicle to get severely electrocuted. Even extreme weather can impact EVs, so stationary EVs could also experience significant damage during flooding.

What’s the better vehicle to own in the event of a flood?

Cars cross a waterlogged area | Vipin Kumar/Hindustan Times via Getty Images

Floods are a unique type of natural disaster because they could have an impact long after they are over. Water damage is often irreversible. When cars are flooded, many become instantly beyond repair and worthless because of how many internal parts get ruined.

Electric vehicles may be able to get further through floods than gas-powered vehicles. That being said, they also pose a more serious risk to drivers. Driving through a flood with a gas-powered vehicle could cause you to lose your car. Driving through a flood with an electric vehicle could cause you to lose your life.

Ultimately, trying to move a car in the event of a flood is never worth it. The best thing to do is avoid your vehicle driving through water higher than about half its tire height at all times. The less ground clearance your vehicle has, the more damage flooding could cause.

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