Recent events in Texas and Florida remind us that in some cases, it’s better to flee danger. To the extent that hurricanes travel rather slowly, a motor-vehicle is a practical solution to getting large numbers of people out of harm’s way. Buses are better than smaller vehicles in terms of rate of evacuation and efficiency but many of us do own personal vehicles which can be used.
There is an EV connection here. Many were frustrated in evacuation because they could not use the vaunted advantage of great range of the gas-guzzler because the tank was running on empty and line-ups and outages at filling-stations wasted many hours. Folks with an EV sitting in the garage or driveway already topped up from the mains just load up the vehicle and go…
Of course, many EVs are short range, but except for Florida, there is an obvious way to go, away from the ocean where the hurricane is stronger. Florida was an exception because it is a peninsula and the hurricane was so large. Still, an EV as modest as Solo could get people rapidly away from the ocean and it would have no problem in stop and go traffic idling or wasting energy. EVs are most efficient at the crawling rate we saw in Florida.
The result was that folks who owned cars stayed or went and those who stayed are now being rescued from a lack of everything: house, food, water, electricity, fuel… Going was the right idea and EVs will make it easier next time. BTW, the idea that a few days of food and water are enough to “ride it out” is a dangerous myth. Lack of a house can take a year or more to fix and it may take weeks to restore electrical power. Utilities just won’t send power into demolished homes or whole communities will burn. Food and water are difficult for a week or more as fuel is in short supply/distribution and roads are impassible. What’s in your pantry? Where is your pantry? Was it all in that home that blew away or was washed away or crushed? It’s time to build bunkers and ride EVs.