A Common Myth Could Be Scaring Buyers Away From Electric Cars

Serena Aburahma
Updated on Jun 1, 2022 · 4 min read
If you're looking to reduce your carbon footprint, an electric vehicle is one of the best ways to do so. Clean and efficient, they can provide you with a reliable source of transportation.
However, one minor issue has been scaring people away from buying an electric car. It's believed that electric car fires are more commonplace than fires in gas-powered vehicles. While an electric car fire poses serious risks and is a concern to be taken seriously, is it true that fires happen more often with electric cars?

What are the odds of a car fire?

The idea of your car suddenly catching fire is a terrifying one to be sure. And both gas and electric cars have caught fire for various reasons. However, cars are not rolling tinderboxes waiting for a single spark due to vehicle safety regulations. 
Many things would need to go wrong for a car to catch fire. Some of the more common reasons for vehicle fires are overheating, fuel leaks, electrical system failures, and arson. But, except for arson, these reasons can come down to fatal flaws in a car's design.
However, according to the U.S. Fire Administration, less than 1% of car fires are due to design flaws. Manufacturers have several procedures intended to catch major problems before they become widespread. If something gets past those procedures, manufacturers issue recalls preventing the problem from affecting too many people.
With so many protections in place, it's rare for a fire to occur in any car. This fact brings us to the fear of electric vehicle fires.

The problem with Tesla that started fear over electric car fires

According to a study published by Cleantechnica, over the eight years between 2013 and 2021, there have been eight fires involving Tesla vehicles. In terms of the overall number of yearly vehicle fires, it's a small percentage. However, there's another factor to observe.
When people express concern over electric car fires, they explicitly refer to fires that occur spontaneously. The worry is that the lithium-ion battery will suddenly explode or combust due to some design flaw or matter of negligence. 
Given the available data, though, most fires with Tesla cars were caused by driver error and not problems related to the manufacture of the vehicles.
Electric vehicle fires do occur for several reasons. And while modern cars have many advanced safety features, there aren't any in place that would prevent a car from catching fire because of a severe driver error. So it's best to take care of your car and fix any problems that come up.

There are benefits to driving electric cars

Electric vehicles are not only better for reducing carbon emissions, but they are more reliable and stylish now than they were when first introduced. Multiple companies, from Toyota to Porsche, have produced electric vehicles. Even Mercedes has gotten into the electric vehicle business.
With electric cars, you have greater fuel economy, which means that you can save money on your commute. 
In addition, electric cars and their batteries have fewer moving parts than traditional internal combustion engines. As a result, fewer things could go wrong mechanically with an electric car than with a gas-powered car.
Another common misconception about electric cars is that their performance isn't as good.
There is a laidback driving experience with the quieter electric cars that stands behind the continuation of this idea. But electric cars like the Porsche Taycan push the limits of performance and excite customers with powerful acceleration and speed. 

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