Are Electric Vehicles More Dangerous than Petrol Cars?

Electric vehicles (EVs) have been hailed as the future of transportation due to their environmental benefits. However, a motors expert has shed light on potential dangers associated with EV ownership. Chris Keall, writing for the New Zealand Herald, points to the risk of EV fires as a key danger for motorists.

While it is true that EVs have a lower risk of fires compared to petrol or diesel cars due to the absence of flammable fuel, when EV fires do occur, they are far more severe and challenging to extinguish. According to data from Fire and Emergency New Zealand, an EV fire can require more than 10 times the amount of water to put out compared to a fire in a traditional car.

A significant concern is “thermal runaway,” in which a malfunctioning part of the battery can trigger a chain reaction leading to the entire battery catching fire. This type of fire is intense and can continue to reignite for several days, requiring extensive resources to control.

Another safety concern is the use of lithium in EV batteries. Lithium is highly reactive and can ignite or explode upon contact with water. Any leaks in the battery pack or bodywork that allow moisture to enter the electrical system could quickly lead to a fire.

Several incidents have occurred worldwide that highlight the potential danger of EV fires. Porsche and Audi recently issued a recall for two popular EV models due to the risk of fires caused by lithium-related issues. Additionally, dramatic footage from Australia showed a Tesla vehicle exploding on a motorway, and a faulty EV battery sparked an inferno at Sydney Airport.

While EVs offer many advantages, it is crucial for both manufacturers and consumers to be aware of the potential risks associated with their operation. With proper precautions and safety measures, the transition to electric vehicles can be made safer for everyone on the road.

– New Zealand Herald
– Fire and Emergency New Zealand