Are electric cars safe enough now to become a major mode of transportation in the US? Before spending a lot of money on an electric automobile, it is prudent to explore some safety concerns.
Problems with Electric Cars
Since hybrid and electric automobiles first hit the road many years ago, there have been numerous safety concerns. The vehicles’ battery life has improved, allowing them to travel further. Currently, the Tesla Model S long range has a 379-mile range. Tesla Model 3 range is 348 miles. The i-range Pace’s is 292.
These vehicles are examples of greater driving ranges seen in recent years, raising public interest in these vehicles.
Despite its popularity, there have been several safety issues and negative news around it. In terms of general safety, electric vehicles must still adhere to the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS). Every new electric car will include standard safety features like seat belts, airbags, and anti-lock brakes.
EVs are quiet: Generally, electric vehicles are quieter than gasoline-powered automobiles. This is dangerous since people cannot hear these vehicles as easily as ordinary cars. A pedestrian, cyclist, or motorbike rider may not hear the approaching vehicle, triggering an accident. The number of nighttime pedestrian incidents involving electric vehicles has increased in recent years.
An electric car’s safety argument is that it does not utilize gasoline or diesel fuel and does not have a tank full of a highly flammable liquid that could explode on contact or when set on fire. This is valid. But Li-ion batteries can overheat, catch fire, and even explode. Because Li-ion batteries must be so compact to fit into a vehicle frame the size of an average sedan, they can be risky.
Overcharging: Li-ion batteries can be damaged by faulty voltage regulators, alternators, or chargers. Overcharging can lead to overheating and fire. Many electric vehicles have built-in driverless technology. In some situations, the car can be put on autopilot. Of course, this is risky since some people may misuse this power.
Several lawsuits have been brought around the US against electric vehicle manufacturers for safety issues and personal injury caused by car accidents. Suits against electric vehicle manufacturers include:
A faulty touch screen that sometimes fails to control the vehicle. The issue with safety is that certain models use the touchscreen to manage several safety, navigation, and communication devices. If the screen doesn’t operate due to a software fault, it could be dangerous.
After a crash and fire, automatic doors would not open, trapping and burning the person inside.
Software issues cause vehicles to lose speed or stop lights as battery levels drop.
A defective or missing speed limiter allows the driver to speed. In this example, a teen’s parents had installed a speed restriction on his automobile to limit his driving speed. The limitation was mistakenly removed, allowing the son to reach 116 mph, lose control of his vehicle, and die in the accident.
Electric Car Makers Say Their Cars Are Safer
In response to these concerns and litigation, electric vehicle makers claim their vehicles are safer than gas or diesel automobiles. They claim electric vehicles have fewer collision-related burns than gas automobiles. Also, auto-pilot manufacturers like Tesla claim their vehicles are safer because computers react faster than humans in certain scenarios.