Studies show electric cars are just as safe – some safer – than gasoline vehicles
RALEIGH, NC (WNCN) – For anyone considering buying an electric car, it’s increasingly clear that they are as safe or safer than conventionally powered vehicles. A new series of tests conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety looked into this.
More and more electric vehicles are hitting the road as people look for ways to be more environmentally friendly. According to the IIHS, an electric car is also gentler on those in an accident.
The institute performed half a dozen tests including roof strength, collision avoidance, front crash protection and front impact on the Volvo XC 40 Recharge and Mustang Mach E.
“We have found that electric cars are as safe in our crash prevention tests as internal combustion engine models,” said IIHS President David Harkey.
How sure? According to the Highway Loss Data Institute, injury claims for electric cars are 40% lower than for identical gasoline vehicles.
“The likely reason is that electric vehicles weigh a lot more,” Harkey said.
The extra weight comes from the batteries of electric vehicles.
“We know from our research over the years that if you’re in a heavier vehicle, you often have less force on your body in an accident and are less likely to be injured,” Harkey said.
Consider the Auto Collision Protection features now available and it adds up.
“These vehicles have these advanced driver assistance features and they performed well in our tests,” he said.
Some consumers are concerned about the risk of explosion from these electric car batteries. The IIHS said this was not a problem, but there were concerns about the batteries after a crash during rescue attempts.
“Emergency responders need to take certain precautions to ensure that there is no discharge from the battery that could injure them or injure the occupant they are trying to escape,” Harkey said.
Hands-on sessions helped first responders become familiar with handling electric vehicle collisions.
Upgraded headlights on all models helped the Volvo earn the Top Safety Pick Plus award while the Mustang scored lower.
“The Ford Mustang only has good headlights on 3 out of 5 trim levels,” Harkey said. “The other headlights are marginal, which is why it only gets the Top Safety Pick.”
Over the next few years, some automakers are planning to convert all of their gasoline models to electric cars so consumers can be sure they won’t compromise safety if they switch to electric.