Countering ongoing concerns about the heightened fire risks associated with electric vehicles, a new study shows that EVs are less likely to be set ablaze than either gas-powered or hybrid vehicles.
Setting data on car fires from the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board against sales data from the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, analysts from AutoInsuranceEZ found that hybrids were involved in roughly 3,475 fires per every 100,000 sold, and gas-powered vehicles were involved in roughly 1,530, compared to a scant 25 per 100,000 for EVs, reports Kelley Blue Book.
There is “some logic” to these results, adds the California-based automotive research company, given that gasoline-powered vehicles “depend on combustion to move.”
AutoInsuranceEZ researchers also “tallied fire-related recalls filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in 2020,” the Blue Book states. That accounting found fossils at the top of the list, followed by EVs, with hybrids a “distant third.”
However, looking only at recall research up to 2020 doesn’t account for last year’s “escalating series of Chevy Bolt fire recalls,” Kelley cautions. [And BTW—the replacement Bolt batteries are now available, with extended range and warranty, and garage neighbours aren’t asking questions about the vehicle anymore—Ed.]
While the analysis affirms that EVs “are not inherently more dangerous than gas or hybrid vehicles,” the researchers did observe that “electric fires tend to be more difficult than gas fires to extinguish.”
An estimated 560 people died in car fires in 2018, with collisions triggering most of the fatal blazes, according to the U.S. National Fire Prevention Association.