The EV Safety Advantage
Electric cars are now known for being quick. They are known for being clean. They are known for being quiet and smooth to drive. However, one of their biggest benefits is style something seldom discussed or even acknowledged. Electric cars are safer.
For this report, our team dove deeper into electric vehicle safety in order to explore this topic and confirm that it is indeed one of the advantages electric cars have over gasoline or diesel cars. That included a review of government safety ratings in the US, Europe, Australia, and Japan; a review of insurance data we were luckily able to obtain; and a review of vehicle fire data.
Tesla, as you might expect, is leading the pack on vehicle safety — across the board, not just in the electric car realm. It has broken various safety records. Everything we found confirmed its leadership in vehicle safety. For example, Tesla Model S is 61% better than average large luxury cars in terms of personal injury claims, and is a clear step better than the #2 Volvo XC70 station wagon.
However, a key conclusion is that Tesla vehicles aren’t the only ones exceeding on safety. Other fully electric cars score highly in independent safety tests. The Chevrolet Volt has the lowest personal injury claims of small, four-door cars, and is 29% better than the average car in that category. The Nissan LEAF is 17% better than the class average. Electric cars also perform exceptionally well in frontal crash tests and in terms of rollover risk.
¤ Major independent government agencies rate electric vehicles (EVs) as the safest cars to drive.
¤ NHTSA has given the Tesla Model X a perfect five-star safety rating, the first SUV ever to get the top score.
Injury Insurance Claims
¤ Electric/ hybrid vehicles have overall better IIHS ratings than ICE vehicles.
¤ Driving a hybrid vehicle reduces the injury odds in a collision, according to IIHS.
¤ In terms of personal injury claims, Tesla Model S is 57% better than average luxury cars and Nissan Leaf is 17% better than average small four-door cars.
Optimal Crumple Zone
¤ The absence of an engine in the front of the vehicle improves the crumple zone of EVs.
¤ The centered location of battery packs vastly reduces the torque forces in a car accident.
¤ In terms of frontal crash tests, EVs are comparable to high-end ICE vehicles.
Reduced Rollover Risk
¤ 2% of crashes involve a rollover, but they cause 35% of deaths.
¤ Large battery on the base lowers the center of gravity and reduces the rollover risk for EVs.
¤ Tesla Model S achieves a record low 5.7% rollover likelihood in a single-vehicle crash, and Tesla Model X achieves the best rating among comparable SUVs.
Better Maneuverability and Control
¤ Electric vehicles benefit from better dynamic stability due to a centered battery pack and electronic control of power and braking.
Fire and Electric Shock Risk
¤ Highly mediatized accidents involving fire especially three Tesla Model S accidents.
¤ However ICE cars are fundamentally more exposed to fatal fire risks than their electric counterparts, as the deadliest fires are mostly due to flammable liquids located in the engine area.
Danger for Pedestrians
¤ Hybrids and electric vehicles are so quiet that pedestrians can’t always hear them coming. NHTSA last year finalized a rule requiring the vehicles to make noise but has since delayed the effective date.