There is no need to panic about the safety of electric vehicles, as they are much less likely to catch fire than a gasoline-powered car, experts point out.
• Also read: [EN IMAGES] Quebec: An electric vehicle catches fire in an underground parking lot
“We know it’s happening, but it’s really negligible,” said CAA Quebec automotive expert Jesse Caron. But when it does happen, it’s made very public because it’s a very new type of car and the fire from those batteries is hard to put out.
Less than 0.1%
In fact, it would be an understatement to say that this type of event is negligible based on data collected in the United States by the organization Auto Insurance EZ.
Out of 100,000 electric vehicles sold, only 0.025% caught fire, compared to 1.5% for petrol vehicles.
The most risky are hybrid cars (3.5%).
“You shouldn’t be afraid of it. But what consumers can do is look for safety recalls for their EVs,” says Caron.
In most cases, the problem would stem directly from a manufacturing defect in the battery during its construction before it is handed over to the automaker.
“This was particularly the case with the Chevrolet Bolt EV and EUV, which had a major recall in Canada. Their battery was at risk of short circuiting due to a fault from their manufacturer LG,” explains Dominic Boucher, automotive expert at car driver. Poor air circulation around the battery, a nearby heat source or an unsuitable socket can also be the cause.
“The problem usually comes from the manufacturer, but to avoid unnecessary risks, it is important to regularly service the vehicle,” emphasizes Boucher.
♦ Asked by The newspaperHyundai Canada, which makes the electric Kona that caught fire in Quebec City Wednesday morning, says it is working closely with local authorities to determine the cause of the incident.