Are Electric Cars Safer or More Dangerous Than Gas Cars?
As the popularity of electric cars has grown, it’s inevitable that the question of the safety of electric cars versus gas cars would arise. Sometimes accidents are unavoidable. The question is, if an individual knew in advance that there would be an accident, would they be better off in a gas car or an electric car? Here’s a closer look at the safety of electric cars.
Causes of Car Accidents
Car accidents have numerous causes, including drunk drivers, reckless drivers, distracted drivers, and even unlicensed drivers. When the driver of a vehicle is unable to fully concentrate on the road and the vehicles around them, the result is often an accident. In some cases, the fast reflexes of the driver in their path are enough to avoid a collision. Sometimes the result is an accident, serious injuries, or death. Drivers can be pinned inside their vehicle and a gasoline fire is always a possibility.
Gasoline is extremely flammable and has caused explosions due to car accidents. Although it is possible for the lithium-ion battery in an electric car to explode, the chances of a fire in a traditional gas car are much higher. Studies have shown that electric cars are less prone to fires than gasoline-powered vehicles. Americans with gas vehicles collectively drive approximately 3 trillion miles each year.
This results in about 150,000 car fires. This is one fire for every 20 million miles. At the time that these figures were established, electric cars had been driven a distance of 638 million miles. There were a total of five fires from electric cars, or one fire for every 120 million miles driven. These statistics prove that the number of fires in gas cars is much higher than in electric cars with regard to the number of miles driven.
Vehicles are rated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) based on their performance in simulated accidents. Electric cars have performed exceptionally well in those tests in comparison to gas cars. Part of the reason is that a gas car is built around a large, internal combustion engine. The center of gravity for electric vehicles is lower, and they are less likely to roll. The car with the highest safety score was an electric vehicle. The potential for injury was less than any car ever tested by NHTSA.
Lithium-Ion Batteries vs Traditional Auto Batteries
There are numerous reasons why lithium-ion batteries are believed to be safer than the traditional battery used for gasoline cars. Gasoline has a greater risk for fire because it is stored in one big tank. The flammable liquid in a lithium-ion battery is called an electrolyte, and it is stored in a small container. If there is a fire issue, the protection in place will slow down the fire and contain the flames to a specific area of the vehicle. Since the battery never has to be refueled, no flammable liquids are pumped into an electric car.
One of the main causes of fire in a gas car is the breakdown of mechanical parts. Electric cars have fewer moving parts. That means that there are fewer potential issues. The normal operations of an electric car will not set fire to the battery’s electrolytes. Gasoline engines operate by setting a spark to the gasoline, and so the engine can easily run hot and become hard to manage.
In terms of safety, there are numerous reasons to choose an electric car over a gasoline vehicle. If the potential purchaser makes their choice according to the existing studies and tests, then the choice is clear—electric vehicles are safer in terms of crashes and fire risks.