You might think that people know, at this point, that batteries and water don’t mix. Who hasn’t left (or had a kid leave) a battery-powered electric car or another toy out in the rain only to find it not working and, when trying to fix it later, found the battery compartment destroyed and corroded?
But, while that might seem like common knowledge, some people just don’t learn, or just don’t think before trying to mix batteries and large amounts of water.
Such is the story out of New Zealand, where a couple’s insurance agency had to write off their electric car completely after they tried driving it through a stream, as the New Zealand Herald reported, saying:
Ivan and Varatchaya Benseman say they would like to see Ōpōtiki District Council upgrade a ford on Motu Rd after their vehicle was irreparably damaged while crossing recently.
The couple live on Whitikau Rd, past Toatoa, and say their recently purchased Mitsubishi Outlander electric hybrid was written off by their insurance company after the battery was flooded from trying to cross the Papamoa Stream ford in September.
They say they have given up on the idea of an electric or hybrid vehicle. They had only owned the Outlander for four months and Ivan said the battery of the vehicle had been destroyed from trying to ford the stream. He said he paid $37,000 for the vehicle and it would have cost $42,000 for it to be put back together, with no guarantee it would work.
Varatchaya said they had now bought an older Nissan petrol vehicle which cost more to run but she felt was better suited to fording streams.
Interestingly, the article tried to pin the blame on the state of the ford across the stream and it not being lined with concrete. After discussing that, they quote Ōpōtiki council engineering and services group manager Stace Lewer as saying, when defending the decision to not line the ford:
“We do line fords with concrete when the situation is called for. For example, another ford on Pakihi Rd is concrete lined. However, that ford is in constant flow and needs the higher level of protection.”
Stace Lewer added that:
“This ford crosses a stream with a small catchment and most of the time it has very low flows, and at times it is dry. Of course, after some of the significant rain events recently, it has had higher flows. After these storm events, our contractor crews often need to do some minor repairs, reshaping the ford, usually two or three times a year.”
But perhaps the problem isn’t that the ford was unlined, but rather that, whatever the manufacturers and EV propagandists say, batteries and a river full of water still don’t mix well, particularly if you’re in a remote area where the river might be higher on some days than it normally is and you still have to drive through it. In such a case, a combustion-powered, four-wheel drive vehicle with a snorkel.
But that wouldn’t fight the environmental and EV craze, so it’s not what’s recommended by the powers that be…
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