Since their emergence, electric vehicles (EVs) have received a bad reputation surrounding safety concerns. However, thanks to their growing popularity, EVs and their manufacturers have proven that the vehicles may not be as dangerous as the public originally thought. This begs the question: are EVs safer than fuel-powered cars?
If you have been considering making the switch from gas to electric power for your vehicle, there are many considerations to keep in mind. Besides the obvious environmental benefits, safety is also a major factor to contemplate.
What does The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) have to say?
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has said that, due to the growing popularity of EVs, they have become inherently safer than fuel-powered vehicles. The IIHS has also stated that their Safety Pick of the Year list has been filling more and more with EVs. In 2022, EVs scored some of the highest scores in crashworthiness. The IIHS highlighted that the rate of injury is 40% lower for passengers and pedestrian collisions in EVs than it is in fuel-powered vehicles. David Harkey, President of The IIHS, said in an interview that the results from the recent EV safety tests are encouraging. This means consumers do not have to compromise their safety when switching to an EV.
Safety benefits of an EV
EVs are less flammable than fuel-powered cars. The mere presence of gasoline in an internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicle is what makes it more dangerous. EVs contain lithium-ion batteries, which are also combustible, however, they are not as dangerous or volatile as gasoline. For example, cell phones, computers and every day batteries share the same makeup as an EV battery and therefore cause the same minimal threat of combustion.
One of the key features of EVs is that they are extremely quiet if producing any sound at all. This appears to be a benefit, however, it can be dangerous for other drivers and pedestrians alike. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) therefore imposed a minimum sound requirement for EVs. To combat this, almost all EVs are fitted with an acoustic vehicle alert system, which makes a sound when the vehicle is travelling at a certain speed or reversing.
Should you make the switch from an ICE vehicle to an EV?
Globally, EVs are becoming more and more popular. They are undeniably better for the environment and are starting to look like the only viable long-term option for road transportation. With an increasing number of charging stations becoming available, such as the network being created throughout South Africa by Zero Carbon Charge, EVs truly are the future. As this article has shown, the safety issues which concerned many consumers in the past are no longer a problem. The IIHS has concluded that EVs are as safe if not safer than fuel-powered cars.