September 22, 2022

What Makes EVs Safer Than Gasoline-Powered Vehicles?


3 Min. Read

There are many economic, ecological, and practical advantages of switching to an electric vehicle. You’ll save money in “fueling” and maintenance costs, reduce your environmental impact and carbon footprint, and one major benefit that can’t be ignored is that EVs may also be considered safer than traditional gas-powered cars. Reasons for this include vehicle age, EV-only safety features, and weight distribution advantages.

Reasons Electric Cars May Be Safer Than Gasoline Vehicles

All things considered, are EVs safer than gas cars? Let’s look at safety factors for EVs versus cars with internal combustion engines (ICEs):

Vehicle age. EV adoption is a recent phenomenon. Overall, new gas-powered car sales in early 2022 were down 20% from the prior year. Conversely, EV sales were up 37% when compared during the same timeframe. Thanks to engineering advances and crash analysis, newer automobiles tend to be built better. They also contain far more safety features to protect passengers, such as blind-spot detection and driver-assistance features, than older ICE vehicles.How do EVs compare with other newer vehicles? In 2022, out of 32 new vehicles rated, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) gave five-star ratings to 13 EVs and hybrids.

Passenger safety. The probability of getting injured in crashes involving EVs is lower for passengers than in vehicles fueled by gasoline and diesel, according to an Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) study. The IIHS compared claims data from the electric and ICE versions of nine 2011 to 2019 autos. They found that injury claim rates for drivers and passengers of EVs were over 40% less than for comparable ICE models.

Fire risk. Fire-related EV recalls have attracted mass media attention, but gasoline-powered vehicles are subject to more recalls for fire-related concerns than EVs. While any vehicle can catch fire, the risk for EVs is far lower. Gas is volatile and flammable and a damaged gas tank can turn a simple collision into a deadly accident. A study showed 1,530 ICE-powered cars were involved in fires per 100,000 sold, whereas EVs had 25 fires per 100,000 sold.

EV-specific safety features. To address potential risks for fire, spillage, and other issues involving the high-voltage battery in EVs, the cars have built-in safety features that shut down electrical systems when the vehicle detects a crash (via the airbags or crash sensors). Additionally, the cars are engineered to ensure that the battery remains anchored to the EV and have enhanced frameworks so the battery cannot intrude into the passenger area in a crash.

Center of gravity. EVs have low centers of gravity with the motor and battery located at the bottom of the car. This enhances the traction of EVs, which also improves their stability and safety and reduces the risk of a rollover.

Better brakes. EVs tend to weigh more, so they typically have more powerful, larger brakes to ensure they can safely come to a complete stop or slow down, as needed. Furthermore, some EVs are using new regenerative braking systems that also help lower the car’s center of mass, thereby lowering its center of gravity. This has the additional benefit of recharging the battery while slowing the car down.

Going Electric With Qmerit

The evidence that EVs are safer than traditional ICE vehicles continues to grow as EV models evolve. This is important to note for the more than two-thirds of the population who don’t currently have an EV or hybrid but are considering one, as well as those who have already joined the EV transportation revolution.

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But don’t just take our word for it. Rated #1 in customer satisfaction, Qmerit’s experienced network of certified electricians has installed more than 450,000 EV charging stations in homes and businesses across the U.S. and Canada!

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Author: Greg Sowder

Greg Sowder

President, Qmerit Network