Electric vehicles (EVs) are becoming increasingly popular around the world, and for good reason. Not only are they better for the environment, but they are also safer than traditional cars. In this blog post, we will explore the reasons why electric vehicles are safer than traditional cars.
1. Lower Center of Gravity
The lower center of gravity in electric vehicles is due to the placement of the battery pack, which is typically located on the bottom of the car. This gives the car a more stable base and reduces the risk of tipping or rolling over, even in a high-speed collision. In contrast, traditional gasoline-powered cars have their heavy components, such as the engine and fuel tank, located at the top of the car, which can make them more prone to tipping over.
The lower center of gravity also improves the handling and performance of electric vehicles. With the weight of the battery pack distributed evenly across the car, electric vehicles can turn and corner more quickly and smoothly than traditional cars. This not only makes the driving experience more enjoyable, but it also improves safety by reducing the risk of losing control of the vehicle.
2. Instant Torque
Instant torque is one of the key advantages of electric vehicles, and it refers to the ability of the electric motor to provide maximum torque from a standstill. This means that electric vehicles can accelerate much faster than traditional cars, which can be especially useful in dangerous driving situations.
The reason for this is that traditional gasoline engines need to rev up before they can deliver their maximum power output, which can take several seconds. In contrast, electric motors can deliver their full torque immediately, which means that electric vehicles can go from 0 to 60 miles per hour in a matter of seconds.
The instant torque in electric vehicles has several safety benefits. For example, it allows drivers to quickly accelerate and merge onto highways, which can help them avoid accidents caused by slow acceleration. It also makes it easier to avoid obstacles in the road, such as debris or animals.
3. Regenerative Braking
Regenerative braking is a technology that allows electric vehicles to capture and store energy that is normally lost during braking. When the driver applies the brakes, the electric motor runs in reverse, converting the car’s kinetic energy into electrical energy that is then stored in the battery pack.
This technology has several safety benefits. For example, regenerative braking can help prevent accidents caused by brake failure or malfunction. Because the electric motor is used to slow down the car, it reduces the wear and tear on the brake system, which can extend the life of the brakes and prevent them from overheating or failing.
Regenerative braking can also help improve the driving experience and make electric vehicles more efficient. By capturing and storing energy that would normally be lost during braking, it can increase the range of the vehicle and reduce the need for frequent recharging. In addition, regenerative braking can provide a smoother and more controlled braking experience, which can make driving more comfortable and enjoyable.
4. Advanced Safety Features
Advanced safety features are becoming increasingly common in electric vehicles, and they offer several benefits over traditional cars. These features can include things like automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, adaptive cruise control, and blind spot monitoring.
One of the most significant safety benefits of these features is that they can help prevent accidents caused by driver error. For example, automatic emergency braking can detect when a collision is imminent and apply the brakes automatically to prevent or mitigate the impact. Lane departure warning can alert the driver if they start to drift out of their lane, helping to prevent accidents caused by distracted or drowsy driving.
5. No Combustion Engine
Electric vehicles are powered by an electric motor that runs on electricity stored in a battery pack, which is different from traditional cars that rely on a combustion engine that runs on gasoline or diesel fuel. This difference has several safety benefits.
Firstly, electric vehicles do not produce exhaust emissions, which means they do not emit harmful pollutants into the air that can contribute to air pollution and respiratory problems. This is especially beneficial in urban areas, where air pollution levels can be high and can have negative health impacts.
Secondly, electric vehicles do not have a fuel system, which means they do not pose the same fire risks as traditional cars. In a traditional car, fuel can leak or ignite during an accident, which can cause a fire. In an electric vehicle, the battery pack is designed to be safe and has built-in safety features that help prevent fires.
Additionally, electric vehicles are quieter than traditional cars, which can improve safety by reducing noise pollution and making it easier for drivers to hear other sounds on the road, such as emergency sirens or pedestrians.
6. Flammability of Electric Vehicles
Back in 2013, three vehicle fires involving Tesla’s Model S took over the news cycle, drawing immediate criticism from both pundits and the general populous alike, who claimed that electric vehicles were flammable and unsafe.
Despite Tesla being quick to point out that all of the fires involved some sort of accident, their stock took a significant hit as the unease around EVs grew.
Electric vehicles run on lithium-ion batteries (also called Li-ion batteries), which are indeed flammable. When exposed for lengthy periods to the wrong sort of conditions or if the power cells are damaged and short-circuiting occurs, there’s potential for combustion. This is referred to as thermal runway.
But the likelihood of such a thing occurring is incredibly minimal. There are presently millions of Li-ion battery-fuelled products (including computers and phones) on the market, but the instances of fires are few and far between. In fact, Jeff Dahn, a professor of physics and chemistry and Dalhousie University, has produced research that states that just one fire occurs for every 100 million Li-ion batteries on the market so long as they’re used properly.
In what may come as a surprise to some, Li-ion batteries actually pose less of a risk of fire or explosions than gasoline. In cases which involved the former being damaged and causing fires, the flames were held to the small area that contains the batteries until they were extinguished. When it came to fires caused by the latter, the flames spread to other parts of the vehicle before they could be put out.
None of this means EV designers and engineers haven’t addressed the concerns surrounding the possibility of thermal runway, though. To make things safer than ever, batteries have been encircled by a protective cooling layer just like the ones found in traditional automotive radiators. If somehow the batteries still manage to overheat despite the excess cooling, they have been installed as an assortment rather than as one large pack and are further divided by firewalls.
Not only did the Tesla Model S receive unfair bashing for the concerns over flammability, it was also given the highest possible safety rating in crash tests by the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) thanks to the external aluminium plating surrounding its battery array and the extra layer of fire protection between its batteries and passengers.
While the Tesla Model S presently has more fire safety features than numerous other electric vehicles, plenty of other models scored similarly in terms of passenger safety. And in the wake of the Model S’s success, a movement has begun to improve the level of fire safety in all EV models.
In crashes involving electric vehicles, the NHTSA actually concluded that the chances of the people involved getting injured were lower than they were with vehicles that run on gasoline and diesel engines. To put it plainly: Electric vehicles are safer to drive and ride in than traditional options.
8. Pedestrian Accidents
There have been numerous studies that have suggested EVs are more likely to be involved in accidents with pedestrians than regular vehicles. This is due to the fact that EVs are far quieter than their solely gas-powered counterparts, and therefore could pose a threat to people out walking their dogs or those with disabilities, such as the blind.
Areas, where the speed limit is lower, are particularly dangerous, as moving at a slower rate means there isn’t enough friction between an EV’s tires and the road to create a substantial amount of noise.
However, Canada is presently in the process enacting a change to the Canada Motor Vehicle Safety Standard so that all new electric vehicles will have to be fitted with an electronic noise emitter, something that is already in place in the U.S. and Europe.
This will outfit electric cars with one or two devices, usually mounted behind the front and rear bumpers, which will create sound at a frequency that’s similar to the internal combustion engines of typical vehicles at a similar speed, effectively getting rid of the likelihood of an accident based upon lack of noise.
Electric vehicles are becoming increasingly popular, and while they have their own set of safety concerns, the good news is that there are measures being taken to address them. With more reliable fire safety features than traditional gas-powered cars as well as new noise emitter devices in place to help prevent pedestrian accidents, electric vehicles can be a safe option for those looking to make an eco-friendly choice without compromising on safety. Here at Steer, we strive to provide you with convenient access to the latest EVs so that you can enjoy all the benefits they offer without worrying about any potential risks. Get in touch today if you’re interested in learning more about our car subscription service or signing up!