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21 hours ago · 2 min read ·
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Are batteries a fire hazard?

on May 24, 2018

Every time an electric car burns down after an accident, it is on the front page of the newspapers. Fossil cars burn all the time, yet these incidents are reported in passing, if at all. This imbalance led to some comments suggesting electric cars posed a fire hazard. This is quite ironic, given the fact that fossil cars carry around large volumes of highly flammable liquids. For a battery to catch fire, a severe structural damage is necessary. For gasoline in contrast, a pipe leaking onto an overheated exhaust pipe or a thrown away cigarette might already be enough. But gasoline powered cars have been around for long, and usually don't blow up like in the movies. People are so used to them that they think they developed a sense for the risks involved.
Electric cars are still new to a lot of people. New things that have the potential to change habits, are frightening to some people.
So lets have a look at the psychology behind the different perspectives. Fear is highly irrational. For example, who is not afraid of sharks? We have been trained for decades to be wary of terrorists. There are multiple studies to put these fears into perspective:

With the fear part sorted out, lets look at the numbers about burning cars:
Brennende Elektroautos
Per billion kilometers driven, there are 90 burning fossil cars vs only two electric cars!
What is left to do for us, is to make E.V.s better known. That would reduce the fear of the unknown, thus reduce those unfunded claims. This is actually the mission of the WAVE trophy. Bringing electric mobility to the people, and demonstrate how practical it has become over the years.

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