Does an accident in an electric car pose more risk than in its gasoline counterpart?

imgresAfter watching this training video showing first responders how to safely extract occupants from a Tesla Model S without being electrocuted.   I started to think about how EV’s might react in an accident. It became clear that EV’s are nothing like conventional vehicles. A  gasoline powered car crash can be a violent event and one that sometimes ends in fire. However, most fender-benders don’t usually end in a car engulfing fire.  Will the rise of EV’s change the severity of accidents? Meaning, will lower impact speeds cause more loss of life, due to the high voltage, when compared to the same type of crash in a traditional vehicle. When EV’s first entered urban areas, an unexpected side effect was a higher rate of pedestrian accidents. Since there isn’t an engine in the EV, they were much quieter than traditional vehicles. This was an unanticipated but an easily remedied problem.  EV manufacturers added sound back to the vehicles in the form of speakers and digital cars sounds.  Will the rapidly increasing number of electric powered vehicles begin to uncover a new threat posed by this technology? Have the current EV manufacturers tested their vehicles with enough rigor to ensure safety from electric current in accidents and other non-standard conditions? It seems like Tesla has thought about this issue and is taking the initiative to instruct first responders. As with any new technology there are always growing pains and unforeseen issues. As consumers we expect that they are worked out before the products make it into our homes and lives. I guess only time will tell.

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