E-cars have a higher accident risk than combustion engines – the reason

Electric cars have a higher accident risk than combustion engines. In addition, many e-cars have a weak point that can lead to a fire. On top of that, e-cars pose a risk for older cars. That’s what AXA insurance says.

Electric cars: higher risk of accidents

The insurer AXA Switzerland has examined the accident risk emanating from electric cars. The insurer comes to the conclusion that electric cars actually pose a greater risk of accidents than combustion vehicles. The reason is, of all things, one of the strengths of e-cars: their driving pleasure when accelerating. The enormous acceleration of e-cars also struck us in our tests: Tesla Model 3 in the test + video – crazy sprint, rapid 15-incher and always online as well as Tesla Model Y – raging Pampersbomber in the test.

Because e-cars can use their full torque almost from a standstill. Electric cars generally accelerate very quickly, more than comparably motorized combustion vehicles. This “rocket launch” is all the more drastic the stronger the performance of the electric car. Anyone who has ever accelerated from zero to 100 in a Tesla Performance model knows what AXA means.

AXA Switzerland writes verbatim: “Impressive crashes show that electric cars cause more collisions than conventional combustion engines, especially the powerful vehicles with jerky acceleration.” The insurance company emphasizes that in the case of high-performance e-cars, unlike combustion engines, it is no longer the braking distance and reducing speed that are the main sources of danger, but acceleration. According to the insurance company, many drivers could no longer control the “unwanted, jerky acceleration” when driving off in a powerful electric car. AXA speaks of an “overtapping effect” here. An e-car driver supposedly only presses the power pedal briefly, but is then completely surprised by the breathtaking acceleration of his vehicle and therefore loses control of the vehicle due to the strong acceleration.

According to AXA, an “increased frequency of damage in high-performance electric cars” is already evident. According to accident statistics from AXA Switzerland, “drivers of electric cars would cause 50 percent more collisions with damage to their own vehicles than those of conventional combustion engines.” The statistics also show that “drivers of more powerful electric vehicles more often cause damage to their own vehicle or to other vehicles.”

Inadequate protection of the battery underneath: risk of fire

AXA has also identified a weak point in electric cars: the underbody. The investigations of the AXA accident researchers have shown that underbody damage can occur when driving over road islands, stones or roundabouts. This can lead to the battery catching fire and thus to a vehicle fire.

The drive battery is “very well protected by additional stiffening of the body at the front, rear and sides”, but it is vulnerable from below. The insurer demands that manufacturers protect the batteries underneath, for example with titanium plates or similar high-resistance materials. The safety of the batteries against damage from below should also be checked by means of a correspondingly extended crash test.

E-cars are heavier: danger for combustion engines

The batteries make e-cars significantly heavier. According to AXA, the average weight of a new vehicle will soon be around 2 tons due to the increasing spread of electric cars. If a Golf VII with a combustion engine collides with an electric Golf that is 400 kilograms heavier with identical dimensions, the combustion Golf is “exposed to a significantly higher load and consequently suffers visibly more body damage than its electric counterpart. In a crash, the difference in weight between the vehicles involved is crucial. The lighter vehicle is at a disadvantage because the energy load is greater than with the heavier vehicle.”

After all: “The effective safety systems of modern vehicles can compensate for the effects of the mass difference in most cases. In the crash shown, the two passenger cells therefore remain intact. The occupants of both vehicles are therefore well protected and normally do not have to reckon with any injuries,” says the insurer Celebration. But this does not apply in the event of a collision between an electric car and an older vehicle that lacks modern safety systems.

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