Own an EV in Florida? Senator Wants to Ban You From Evacuating a Hurricane
The sun keeps shining most of the time in sunny Florida. Except when Florida legislators propose laws stemming from an alternative universe. Republican Senator Jonathon Martin wants to ban EV-owning Floridians escaping a hurricane from doing so. We assume Senator Martin didn’t share his EV banning ideas with those better equipped to filter nonsense.
Where does this EV ban come from?
Mr. Martin’s concerns are based on mindless Twitter yammerings. He is a member of Florida’s Committee on Environment and Natural Resources and the Select Committee on Resiliency. The reason he says why Florida should ban EVs is that they can run out of charge while evacuating. Then this would cause them to stall in the middle of the road, he postulates, blocking lanes other like-minded Floridians are using to escape.
According to Electrek, the source of this fear comes from social media posts during the most recent snow storms in the midwest. Posters warned EVs will get stranded in the snow while gas-powered cars won’t. In reality, it was the opposite. Many gas-powered cars ran out of gas instead.
The more we know about the EV ban, the dumber it looks
And many gas stations were either offline or couldn’t get gas shipments due to the snow. The idea that EVs can run out of charge heightened with cities facing power outages. So the theory is that EVs won’t be able to charge and will get stuck.
What Senator Martin’s quick thinking wasn’t able to resolve is that if there is a power outage, then gas stations, as we saw in those recent heavy snow blasts, have to close. That’s because, and you need to read this Mr. Martin, when the power is out, gas pumps can’t work because, guess what? Electricity powers them.
Yes, electricity is how those gas pumps pump gas. It’s not by suction or paddle wheels or flowing from a tower filled with gas on a hill. And while EVs can charge at home in most cases, virtually no one has a gas-filling station at home. Plus, if traffic is slow or at a standstill, EVs use virtually none of their stored energy. Gas-powered vehicles, on the other hand, are still using gasoline at idle or in traffic congestion as exhaust spews into the environment. So even if Senator Martin has no common sense, he can at least Google around.
Don’t gas-powered cars get stranded in the snow too?
As an aside, the biggest fear of EV drivers is range. So, even though EVs right now are getting a minimum of 200 miles of range, many are seeing 400 and 500 miles. That’s much farther than most gas-powered vehicles. Thus, EV owners will be aware the instant they hop into their cars whether they have enough, or not enough, of a charge.
Then there is the unconscious idea that a stranded EV will block evacuees, while a stranded gas-powered car couldn’t. “With a couple of guys behind you, you can’t get out of the car and push it to the side of the road,” says Martin. “Traffic backs up. And what might look like a two-hour trip might turn into an eight-hour trip once you’re on the road. My concern is there’s not an infrastructure currently available in the state of Florida for the amount of EVs that might be used to evacuate, on evacuation routes, during a time of emergency.”