7 October 2020

Are Electric Vehicles safe?

The production of electric cars is now firmly in the spotlight in the UK. This is mainly due to a 2040 ban placed by the UK government on diesel and/or petrol cars. But as the deadline slowly approaches, there are lingering questions on the minds of the consumers. Most of these questions have to do with whether the government and electric vehicle manufacturers are doing their best to guarantee electric car safety.

Are Electric Vehicles as safe as the public thinks?

The recent ban announced by the UK government will bring about a new era for alternate fuels and also usher in previously unthought-of changes in the car manufacture industry.

Cheapest electric cars

As it is, the car evolution process has already made some huge strides when it comes to reducing the environmental pollution. And while the hybrid and electric cars don’t move around with large quantities of petrol in them, some motorists are still concerned about their safety.

Both seasoned and beginner car drivers are increasingly posing safety-related questions to car EV manufacturers to learn more about them before deciding what to buy.

Does an EV come with any safety features beyond the traditional ones?

When it comes to EV safety, it’s crucial to note that the safety features included in the plug-in models aren’t very different from those found in the traditional vehicles. But then again, there’s a single feature that’s only present in battery-powered vehicles, which has the potential to impact its overall safety.

Commonly known as regenerative braking, this safety feature is intended to recapture energy as a way of topping up the battery. However, when the driver removes their foot from the accelerator, the vehicle will immediately begin to brake to a lesser or greater degree. The extent of the automatic braking will depend on the setting configured by its owner. When a driver begins to brake as a way of avoiding an accident or a collision, an EV having the regenerative braking feature may begin to decelerate a fraction earlier. At this moment, however, there are no concrete reports on how this feature enhances overall safety.

EV Charge Point safety

Once you decide to acquire a plug-in EV, the next step is to invest in a Level 2 charging station for installation at your home. According to the National Electric Code, the technical name for charging stations is Electrical Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE).

While safety may not be at the top of your mind when choosing a charging station, it ought to be your most important consideration. The central role of a charging point is to supply electrical infrastructure throughout the charging process and to guarantee the safety of its operator. It should also address electric shock and associated fire risks.

Is it safe to charge electric car in the rain?

Yes, it’s safe to charge your EV in the rain. You shouldn’t have to worry about charging an EV when it’s raining as the right protective layers and covering shields are fully applied to the charging stations and their plugs. The covering and the shields are responsible for preventing short circuits, sparks, water mixing, or current loss during the charging process.

Tesla in the rain

It’s not uncommon for people to construct and formulate myths about unrealistic and uncertain phenomena. And this situation isn’t any different. As things stand, there’re strong myths in circulation everywhere you go. Some hold the belief that it’s not safe to charge an EV in snowy weather or when it’s raining as it may increase your chances of getting electrocuted. Nonetheless, this isn’t the correct answer to this question as it doesn’t bear any formal logic. You should know it’s safe to charge the EV even when it’s raining.

The engineers responsible for developing the charging module and designing EVs have already addressed these safety concerns and are doing their best to make EV mass adoption a reality. To be sure, they have incorporated protective layers into the charging plugs to make them safe for all charging situations. It’s what has helped to make charging in the rain safer.

Are electric car batteries safe?

When it comes to EV battery safety, the risks involved aren’t much different than those that come with driving a conventional car. Granted, various EV models such as Tesla have lately been on the news for battery-related incidents. According to the car manufacturer, there have only been three reported cases of battery incidents all related to their Tesla Model S.

Of the three, one was as a result of a high-speed crash, while the other two were caused by debris present on the roads. The debris pierced the vehicle’s underbody before making its way into the battery. EV car manufacturers are learning from these incidents and are using the information gathered from them to come up with better battery packs and to reinforce EV safety features.

Are electric cars safe in floods?

BMW in a flood

From a young age, individuals are taught that water and electricity don’t mix. As such, this raises the question of how safe electric vehicles are when faced with floodwater kind of situations or when driving through large water puddles when it’s raining.

To start with, EVs don’t use a conventional engine, don’t have a complicated gear/transmission system, and have fewer oils/fluids. Therefore, the vehicle gets to mitigate common risks found in a fossil-fuel-powered vehicle immediately. But then again, what about the electrical motor, the controller, and the battery pack that is responsible for making the vehicle work?

Generally speaking, EVs are safe to drive in deep water as their battery packs, and drive trains are well sealed off. Electrocution is, therefore, not a major risk when driving through areas with deep water.

According to Elon Musk, the genius behind the Tesla EV, the Model S can float like a boat for short periods, thanks to its wheel rotation. Its battery and drive units are sealed off, making it safe for use even in deep floodwaters.

Summary

As is the case with any other emerging technology, there’re various risks connected to the increased use of electric vehicles. On the other hand, this shouldn’t be taken to mean that the vehicles are any more dangerous than diesel or petrol vehicles.