In a rapidly evolving automotive landscape, the discussion around electric vehicles (EVs) versus gas-powered cars has become increasingly relevant.
One important aspect to consider is safety. Are EVs truly safer than their traditional counterparts? In this post, we delve into the key factors and research to provide insights into the safety advantages of EVs.
The EV Shift
Technological improvements and increased affordability have influenced consumer sentiments regarding electric vehicles (EVs) in the last few years. More people are interested in EVs than ever before.
All-electric vehicles are emerging in new shapes, sizes, and colors and are produced by various manufacturers. The most commonly known is Tesla — but Nissan, BMW, Chevrolet, Volkswagen, Hyundai, and others have developed new EVs with different price points, performance, features, and specifications.
EV adoption is increasing globally, and it’s understandable that some consumers wonder if these next-generation vehicles offer any safety benefits compared to those powered by gas. Here’s the track record.
EVs vs. Gas-Powered Cars: Which Are Safer?
After their introduction, EVs earned a bad reputation due to safety concerns, such as thermal runaways, electrocution risks, and reports of inextinguishable fires. However, as EVs grew popular among consumers and more manufacturers began producing them, it became easier for researchers to collect data regarding their safety.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) suggests that EVs are safer, especially with evidence from a new insurance data analysis. Research indicates that injury claims are substantially less frequent in EVs compared to gas-powered vehicles.
The study compared EV and conventional versions of nine different vehicles sold from 2011-2019. Researchers examined each car’s rates of property damage liability, collision, and injury claims. They found that the injury rates tied to EVs were more than 40% lower than those of identical, conventional vehicles.
Aside from this new data, the IIHS presented the brand-new Hyundai Ioniq 5, a small, fully electric SUV with its highest award, the TOP SAFETY PICK+. The Ioniq earned it by having good ratings in six of the IIHS crashworthiness assessments and front crash prevention with advanced or superior ratings in vehicle-to-pedestrian and vehicle-to-vehicle crash tests.
Why Are EVs Safer?
Even though EV technology is in its early stages, there are a few reasons why they are considered safer than ICE vehicles.
First, the presence of gas in an ICE vehicle makes them inherently dangerous. Drivers fill their tanks at the pump so often that they rarely think about how risky gasoline could be.
Fumes from gasoline are highly flammable and toxic due to the density of hydrocarbons in their structure. It’s important to note that EV battery packs are combustible, but the gas tanks and fuel systems in a standard car are more volatile than these batteries, which can cause serious problems in the event of a crash.
Another reason why EVs are safer is due to sturdier upfront construction. They do not have a front-mounted engine like conventional cars do. EVs typically transmit crash energy toward the back of the vehicle since there’s no ICE in the front of the car. Their batteries will deform and absorb energy during a crash.
The third and final reason EVs are safer is that their batteries are low in the vehicle, causing the car to have a lower center of gravity. Vehicles with a low center of gravity are typically more stable than conventional cars, improving their handling characteristics and lessening the chances of rollovers during hard turns, which helps prevent accidents
EVs: Making Roads Safer for Drivers, Passengers, and Pedestrians
All vehicles on U.S. roads must meet rigorous safety requirements to be sold. The number of EVs on the road today would be lower if they were not as safe as gas-powered cars. As EV technology continues to evolve, more vehicles might have enhanced safety features to keep passengers, pedestrians, and drivers safe while traveling.