Are Electric Cars More Dangerous Than Gas? Expert Reveals The Alarming Truth

Electric cars are like the teacher's pet of the automotive industry. People think they're a cleaner, greener alternative to gas-powered vehicles, but we all know the truth– they have faults and downsides just like any other car. 

Auto expert Chris Keall recently raised some alarming concerns about electric vehicles (EVs) safety. While EVs may offer reduced emissions and lower operational costs, the tradeoffs may not be worth it. 

EVs Are Susceptible To Catching Fire

Keall's main concern is that EV fires are serious, dangerous, and not talked about enough. Though the fire risk in an EV is low, when an EV does catch fire, the damage is far more severe and challenging to control than a standard gas-powered vehicle fire. 

To put this into perspective, Keall writes, “An EV fire can take more than ten times as much water as a petrol or diesel car fire. A petrol or diesel car can take 2000 to 4000 liters to extinguish, and an EV 25,000 to 50,000 liters.”

This means that when firefighters and other emergency personnel are on the scene and attempting to extinguish the flames, it will be a lot more challenging for an EV. 

Thermal Runaway

Keall's second worry is what he calls “thermal runaway.” This happens when a single part of an EV malfunctions and sets off a chain reaction that can lead to a catastrophic battery fire. What's even more frightening is that he points out that these fires are intense and can even reignite days later, requiring even more resources and effort to re-extinguish the flames. 

Why Are EV Batteries So Dangerous?

Experts are blaming the use of lithium batteries. Lithium is an extremely reactive element that can ignite or explode when it comes into contact with water. This means that any leaks in the battery pack that allow moisture into the electrical system could potentially cause fires rapidly.  

Sounds Concerning, but Has This Ever Actually Happened?

Sadly, it has—Keall shares about an incident in Australia where a Tesla exploded on a major motorway. 

Another incident occurred at Sydney Airport, where a faulty EV battery sparked a flame and burned five cars that were left to burn out. 

The final incident he mentioned occurred aboard a cargo ship where 2,700 cars melted, causing millions of dollars in damage, and an EV was the suspected culprit.