An overwhelming majority of UK drivers (84%)* believe that electric cars are at least as safe as a typical combustion car, new research shows.
A poll conducted by TheGreenCarWebsite.co.uk reveals that nearly half of drivers (45%) believe that electric cars are as safe as their fossil fuel counterparts while a further 39 per cent said they thought they were actually safer.
Just a tiny minority said they thought electric cars were less safe (10 per cent) with just 6 per cent saying they thought they weren’t safe at all.
The results of the survey will be welcome news to the up-and-coming electric car market, which has suffered the odd set back in recent months. Stories of battery fires involving Chevrolet Volt and Fisker Karma models have caused a largely groundless blemished to their reputation.
Hard evidence from safety authorities such as Euro NCAP and The National Highways Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) suggests that new generation electric cars are among some of the safest cars available. Euro NCAP gave the Vauxhall Ampera and Nissan LEAF a five star rating for crash safety while even the small Mitsubishi i-MiEV scored four stars. NHTSA gives identical star rating to these models.
And while recent reports of Fisker Karma fires in the wake of Hurricane Sandy again stoked concern, new research from vehicle testing experts at DEKRA concluded that vehicles containing lithium ion batteries are at least as safe as their combustion counterparts**
“Because electric cars are still a niche product, whenever there is a problem, it hits the headlines,” says TheGreenCarWebsite.co.uk’s editor, Faye Sunderland.
“It is reassuring to see, that despite the distorting affect of media coverage, people seem to be confident that these products are as safe-maybe even safer than conventional models-and there is research to support that.
“A vehicle fire is something nobody wants to experience, it is a dangerous situation to be in, but the risk is low and manufacturers work hard to ensure that all their products are as safe as possible. In that sense, electric models are no different and even have some key advantages; namely that they don’t contain a tank full of highly flammable liquid,” she adds.