Driving an EV is Just as Safe as Driving any Other Vehicle

In some cases, EVs may be safer than internal combustion engine vehicles.

Electric vehicles have been shown to be as safe, or even safer, than conventional internal combustion engine vehicles. This is due to a combination of factors, including manufacturers’ commitment to safety and certain unique design characteristics of EVs.
A Rivian battery pack awaits inspection before heading to the chassis line.

How safe are EVs?

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.

Photo: A Rivian battery pack awaits inspection before heading to the chassis assembly line.

I’ve heard that EVs catch fire, should I be concerned?

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.

Photo: Family charging their EV at an EVgo fast charging station
Family charging their Kia at an EVgo fast charging station
⚡️Pro Tip!

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 vehicle

What else should I know about EV safety?

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.

Photo: Canoo Lifestyle Vehicle
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About ZETA

National policies to support 100% electric vehicle sales.

The Zero Emission Transportation Association (ZETA) is a federal coalition focused on advocating for 100% EV sales. Enacting policies that drive EV adoption will create hundreds of thousands of jobs, secure American global EV manufacturing dominance, drastically improve public health, and significantly reduce carbon pollution.