Safety of Electric Cars

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    Risk Factors

    • The major risk factors pertain to the amount of electrolyte stored in the car's batteries and the high voltage current required. Electric cars use 120 or higher voltage power to run the electric motor, even more when running the air-conditioner. The risk arises from the placement of batteries distributed around the car to ensure weight balancing. Therefore, the high voltage cables run across the car's undercarriage.

    Safety Measures

    • Car manufacturers and designers are attempting to mitigate such risks. One of the key design elements is the separation of high voltage DC current from the rest of the system that uses AC current for lights and other functions.

    Other Issues

    • Electric motor-powered cars make less noise than gasoline-powered cars, which may be a safety issue for pedestrians. People who have hearing and vision problems cannot easily feel or hear the car approaching, especially if the vehicle is running at a lower speed. Efforts are being pursued to find a suitable solution to this problem.

    Safety Guidelines

    • The U.S. Government’s safety guidelines lay down minimum requirements for EV automobile manufacturers regarding drivers' safety. The guidelines say that drivers should be protected and insulated from any electric shock or any mishaps arising out of the accumulation of gases. Insulation and safety concerns have been addressed in detail.

    Favorable Aspect

    • One point that goes in favor of the safety of EV cars is that they weigh heavier than an ordinary gasoline-powered car. While this impacts the size and space of the car along with other functional aspects of driving, it increases the perception that the EV car can safely withstand the impact in an accident. It is expected that the impact of a hit or collision would be borne by the car's body and the battery weight, with less chance of damage and injury to the people traveling in the car.

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