A Tesla vehicle which had been submerged during Monday‘s downpour is seen on Tuesday morning in front of a building in Seocho-gu, southern Seoul. (Yonhap)
The possibility of getting an electric shock from a submerged electric vehicle is low, but drivers should never touch the battery of flooded cars, experts warned Tuesday.
According to the Korea Transport Institute, EV batteries are designed to automatically cut off outgoing electricity if any water seeps into it. The battery then drains itself by sending electric currents back and forth between the two electrodes.
Though it is highly unlikely one would get electrocuted by touching the vehicle or the surrounding water, it is recommended that the driver turn off the engine and evacuate to a safe place in the case of flooding, the institute said in the statement.
Torrential rain on Monday turned some streets in southern Seoul and Gyeonggi Province into rivers, leaving some 3,000 cars stranded.
If floodwater rises above tire level, it is best to turn off the air conditioning and to stop driving, according to suggestions from a civic group that advocates for cars and the automobile industry.
Charging EVs during lightning strikes should be avoided, and drivers should not restart flooded cars. If a car gets flooded, the driver should visit the mechanic as soon as possible to prevent corrosion damage.
EVs account for 1 percent of all vehicles in Korea.
Meanwhile, South Korea’s meteorological center forecasted more rain between Tuesday and Wednesday, with parts of Seoul experiencing up to 200 millimeters of precipitation.
By Lee Seung-ku (firstname.lastname@example.org)