In some cases, EVs may be safer than internal combustion engine vehicles.
Just like gas-powered vehicles, EVs must meet Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards to be permitted on the road. At the same time, EV manufacturers must also meet extensive battery safety requirements.
Beyond meeting safety requirements, manufacturers are also pursuing new technologies to reduce collisions further. Among ZETA’s light-duty vehicle membership, Tesla, Lucid, and Rivian all have safety features designed to prevent collisions on par with those found in their gas-powered counterparts. The technology is there to keep EV drivers as safe as possible and to protect the vehicle's battery in case of an accident.
EV fires are rare and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) “does not believe that electric vehicles present a greater risk of post-crash fire than gasoline powered vehicles.” While the few EV fires that do occur often draw media attention, they remain statistically unlikely.
Manufacturers include many safety measures to prevent battery fires during collisions and while charging—including strengthening the batteries’ protective cases, incorporating efficient cooling systems, and fail-safe measures to shut down the batteries in the case of a collision or malfunction. Charging an EV is also particularly safe when using professionally installed chargers. Newer, more advanced home chargers, for example, have layers of software constantly monitoring the battery and recording data to optimize its performance and longevity.
While rare, fires are more likely to occur as a result of a collision. If you are involved in a crash, you should take your vehicle to an authorized dealer or repair specialist to check on the integrity of the battery before taking it back on the road.
Electric vehicles also benefit from several design characteristics that make them safer to drive. Having a lower center of gravity improves handling by providing better balance and grip on the road. This also reduces the chance of a rollover, which accounts for 35% of driving related deaths. The battery-powered instant torque also allows drivers to quickly react to changing traffic conditions.