Are EVs Safer Than Fuel-Powered Vehicles?
Electric vehicles (EVs) are on the rise, and they’re becoming a more common sight in cities. They’ve also gained some traction with consumers who are interested in reducing their carbon footprint and tailpipe emissions. But what about safety? Are EVs safe to operate? The answer is yes!
In fact, many people mistakenly think that EVs are more dangerous than gas-powered vehicles because their batteries can catch fire or even explode when damaged. But this isn’t true at all: Modern lithium-ion batteries have built-in safety features that protect against overheating and short circuits—and if there’s an accident involving an electric vehicle, you’re much less likely to get injured than if you were driving a regular old gas-powered one.
Is an electric vehicle (EV) safer than a conventional vehicle?
As you might expect, the answer is a resounding “yes.” The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has been studying this question since 2008 and has found that EVs are just as safe as conventional vehicles. In fact, there have been no reported airbag-related deaths in any EV model sold in the US since then.
In fact, EVs are safer than their gas-powered counterparts for several reasons:
- They have fewer moving parts than traditional cars and trucks—making them less likely to break down on the road.
- Their lower center of gravity helps them stay stable when cornering or braking—meaning they’re less likely to roll over or lose control during an accident.
- They have backup batteries that allow them to be started if they’re involved in an accident where they’re submerged in water or other fluids like mud, sand, or snow (which can cause corrosion).
EVs have fewer moving parts than gas-powered vehicles
It’s true that EVs have fewer moving parts than their gas-powered counterparts. And this can mean less maintenance and a longer lifespan. Why is that? Because every time you get your oil changed, what you’re really doing is taking care of a lot of little moving parts in your car’s engine—and that means more money spent on oil changes, repairs, and other maintenance over time.
But it’s not just about cost savings with EVs; there are also safety benefits for drivers: because electric trains and trams use regenerative braking systems (whereas most cars do not), they require significantly fewer moving parts than traditional vehicles to function properly.
The battery pack is protected by a strong metal case
If a battery pack from an EV is damaged, it’s a lot less likely to catch fire than the fuel tank in a conventional car. This is because the battery pack of an EV is encased in a strong metal case that’s designed not only to protect the pack from damage but also to prevent short circuits. The only way for this protective casing to be removed is by using special tools, making it impossible for anyone outside of Tesla (or other EV manufacturers) to get their hands on them without permission.
Battery packs aren't likely to cause fires in accidents
The obvious question is whether or not electric vehicles are safer than gasoline-powered cars. The answer, in most cases, is yes.
One of the main reasons for this is that EVs have fewer moving parts and thus less potential for mechanical failures. Take a look at an engine block and you’ll see all sorts of things moving around (a piston going up and down), pieces connecting to other pieces (pistons connected to rods), and so on. This makes any one part prone to breaking down or wearing out over time—and when one thing goes wrong, it causes others to break too.
The battery packs on electric cars are much simpler than those found inside traditional vehicles, which means they don’t require as many components or connections between parts—and therefore are less likely to malfunction in a crash situation. In fact, researchers at John Hopkins University’s Whiting School of Engineering who studied crashes involving EVs versus traditional powertrains found that “electric vehicles were better able to minimize injuries during frontal collisions because their batteries were not located under the hood where they could rupture during front-end accidents.”
Batteries are designed to prevent overheating and short circuits
This design is accomplished by using a combination of thick insulation, internal safety devices, and careful testing procedures.
Overheating is an important concern because it can cause battery failure, which can lead to fires or explosions if the battery catches on fire. The first line of defense against overheating is the metal housing around the cell itself; this keeps heat from escaping into its surroundings. Inside each cell there’s a separator between the positive and negative plates that keeps them from touching each other—this prevents short circuits as well as helps with cooling.
Finally, there are also two vents within each unit: one at either end (one positive and one negative) so that they can release any built-up pressure that may develop during use or storage—this prevents damaging gasses from building up in the case surrounding each cell while it charges or discharges electricity over time.
The risk of explosion due to lithium-ion batteries is low
Lithium-ion batteries are pretty safe, but they’re not fireproof. It’s rare, but it can happen: if the battery cells get damaged (usually by puncture), they can overheat and explode. In order to prevent that from happening, electric vehicle manufacturers have taken several different steps.
First, they’ve provided a battery management system (BMS) on every EV to monitor each cell’s state of charge and temperature. This BMS can shut down parts of your car if there’s a problem with one or more cells—for example when it detects a battery overcharge due to being left in direct sunlight for too long or a rapid discharge during heavy use without adequate charging time beforehand—and signal you by turning off some lights or sounding an alarm.
Second, most electric vehicles have shields around their lithium-ion batteries so that any small punctures won’t cause an internal short circuit between undamaged cells which could lead to overheating and explosion.
Thirdly, many automakers even go so far as putting coolant channels through their EVs’ frames so that if something does go wrong with one vehicle component then its liquid contents might flow into another part instead of causing further damage before leaking out somewhere else.
So yes: lithium-ion battery packs do pose some risk of explosion when damaged or misused; however this is extremely uncommon compared with other kinds of accidents like hitting potholes at high speeds while driving drunk at night along an unlit highway where no one else is present except for maybe another drunk person who was heading home after leaving their favorite bar nearby where he just spent his whole evening drinking beer until 2am.
Are EVs safer than gas-powered vehicles?
You’ve probably heard that EVs are safer than gas-powered vehicles. And, if you’re anything like me, you may be thinking: “Of course they are—those things don’t have an engine!” But then again, maybe not. This is because EVs have fewer moving parts than gas-powered vehicles due to their low center of gravity. Plus when it comes to crash tests, EVs perform better than their fossil fuel counterparts.
The good news is that according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), electric vehicle batteries do not pose a significant fire risk because there is little flammable liquid or gaseous fuel in them and because they contain no highly combustible components such as spark plugs or ignition switches which can pose a fire hazard in conventional cars with internal combustion engines (ICE).
As the overall safety record of EVs continues to improve, the risk of battery fires and explosions is lessening. At the same time, with more than 100 million gasoline-powered vehicles still on U.S. roads, EVs will continue to be safer for years to come.