Are Safety Concerns Over Electric Vehicles Valid?
Updated on May 23, 2022 · 3 min read
You’ve heard the story before. An electric vehicle crashes and catches fire. A picture of the incident shows a car completely engulfed in flames or left a decimated wreck after its battery went up in a high-temperature explosion.
Anyone following these stories is likely concerned about the safety of EVs. But are those fears backed up by facts? How does the safety of electric cars compare to traditional vehicles with internal combustion engines (ICE)?
With any new technology come fears that the change they bring will be dangerous. Sometimes those fears are well-founded. Sometimes, they’re not. Jerry the car ownership super app took a closer look at the most common safety concerns about EVs to give you a more accurate picture.
Is there a real risk of fire with electric vehicles?
The safety concern about EVs that gets the most press coverage is the risk of their lithium ion batteries catching fire. Obviously, the photos and videos of melted Tesla carcasses prove that the potential is real. But how does that risk compare to that of ICE vehicles?
The general consensus is that EV fires are far less likely to happen and far less dangerous than a gasoline fire in a car. And all EVs have multiple devices to prevent fires and keep the flames away from passengers when they occur.
The reason they make the news anyway isn’t because the risk of fire is high. It’s that when they occur, they’re more difficult to extinguish. EV fires can take hours and require thousands of gallons of water for firefighters to put it out.
Other safety concerns about electric vehicles
Fire is the main worry for would-be buyers when it comes to electric vehicles, but it isn’t the only one. Many people think that EVs are more likely to get into accidents in the first place.
That simply isn’t true. EVs have to meet the same safety requirements of any other vehicle. In fact, their relatively new presence on the road means that, on average, they have more advanced safety features than conventional cars.
The concern might be the result of people associating electric vehicles with self-driving technology, which has been under fire for not being adequately tested before being released to the public.
But Tesla’s electric powertrain and its “Full Self-Driving” mode are two different things, and the safety of one shouldn’t be judged based on the success or failure of the other.
So EVs are safe—but are they affordable?
Most safety concerns about electric cars might not stand up to scrutiny, but another major barrier for mainstream adoption has more of a leg to stand on—the cost of ownership.
Manufacturers like Chevy, Nissan, and Tesla were all about dropping prices in 2021, but that conversation has died down considerably this year as the price for materials continues to rise. The only one under $30,000 right now is the base model Nissan Leaf.
Car insurance is also higher on average for EVs than for ICE cars, but you can lower the cost of coverage by shopping with Jerry. A licensed broker that offers end-to-end support, the Jerry app gathers affordable quotes, helps you switch plans, and can even help you cancel your old policy.
Jerry customers save an average of over $800 a year on car insurance payments!