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E-cars in floods

Due to the flood disasters in Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands, the question arises whether e-cars are not roadworthy in floods compared to combustion cars, because the electrics could short-circuit in the water and sparks could fly. According to experts, this is nonsense. Electric cars even have an advantage over combustion cars.

In connection with the flooding in many areas of Europe in recent weeks, there has been much discussion about the unsuitability of electric cars in such disaster scenarios. Do e-cars short-circuit in floods? Do sparks fly? Is the electric car, unlike a combustion engine, no longer usable?

Experts make it clear that this is complete nonsense. The maximum water depth of electric cars is about 30 cm, which is on average the same as that of a combustion engine. Jeeps and off-road vehicles, which are made for off-road driving through mud and water, have a much better water tolerance, regardless of whether there is an internal combustion engine or a battery under the bonnet.

The safety systems in the e-car also protect against a short circuit or sparks that are dangerous to humans. If damaged electrical cables come into contact with water, the high-voltage battery is switched off. The vehicle is then, of course, no longer functional. But this is also the case with a combustion engine, which needs oxygen for propulsion. As soon as the water rises to the intake pipe of the combustion engine, a combustion engine has no chance in high water.

In this case, the electric car even has an advantage over the combustion engine. In an intact electric car, the battery and the electric motor are enclosed as watertight systems. Since they do not need oxygen either, an electric car could still be running even when the bonnet is under water. A combustion engine would have long since stopped.

But what about military vehicles? If the military, the Federal Agency for Technical Relief and the fire brigade one day only drive e-cars, then the vehicles will have significantly better protection systems against the forces of nature than a VW e-Golf or the Audi e-tron.  This is because they are designed quite differently from conventional cars to always be ready for action in the event of a disaster.

So e-cars are just as well suited, if not better than combustion cars, to drive in floods. Nevertheless, let's hope that this will not have to be proven in practical tests too often in the future.