Can we evacuate from hurricanes with electric vehicles?

Kairui Feng, Ning Lin, Siyuan Xian, Mikhail V. Chester

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


The increasing usage of electrical vehicles (EVs) might not meet the safety requirement of massive hurricane evacuations, which may happen more frequently in the future climate. Here we investigate the challenge of widely using EVs for hurricane evacuation through analyzing the power demand during the vast historical evacuation before Hurricane Irma (2017). We find that, if the majority of the evacuating vehicles were EVs, Florida would face a serious challenge in power supply, with its six out of nine main power authorities, especially those in the mid-Florida, being short of power during the evacuation process. Also, the power outage in mid-Florida could induce cascading failure of the entire power network throughout Florida. We argue that policymakers need to consider the evacuation problem as EVs are increasingly adopted in disaster-prone regions. Potential solutions include developing centralized charging strategies, improving battery technology, and adopting hybrid vehicles in addition to EVs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number102458
JournalTransportation Research Part D: Transport and Environment
StatePublished - Sep 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Transportation
  • General Environmental Science


  • Climate change
  • Electric vehicle
  • Hurricane evacuation
  • Power system
  • Transportation


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