While fires in electric vehicles (EVs) have made headlines in recent years, data from the U.S. government and analyzed by AutoinsuranceEZ point out that there are far more fires in gasoline and traditional hybrid vehicles, even when accounting for the fact that there are more gasoline and hybrid vehicles on the road.
Electric vehicles are gaining in momentum and popularity, but many of those who are opposed to transportation electrification are pointing to fire issues with electric vehicles. However, gasoline cars are much more likely to catch fire than an EV.
Car fires are very dangerous, regardless of the vehicle type, killing 560 people in 2018, according to the National Fire Prevention Association. Most often, they are caused by a collision, but they can also be caused by electrical failures, oil and gas leaks, or other factors.
AutoinsuranceEZ looked at data from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS), and government recall data from Recalls.gov. They found that there were nearly 200,000 fires in gasoline vehicles, 16,000 fires in hybrid vehicles, and just 52 fires in electric vehicles. Granted, there are far fewer electric vehicles on the road, so when adjusting these numbers per 100,000 vehicles sold, hybrid vehicles actually were the most dangerous, with nearly 3,500 fires per 100,000 vehicles, 1,500 fires per 100,000 gasoline vehicles, and only 25 fires per 100,000 EVs.
They also looked at recall data on vehicles related to fires and found that many more gasoline vehicles were recalled in 2020 due to fire-related issues than EVs. All of the recalls of EVs and hybrid vehicles were related to battery issues, while recalls of gasoline vehicles were related to electrical shorts, anti-lock braking systems, and fuel leaks.
When choosing the safest vehicle for your family, don’t be swayed by those who are saying that EVs pose a significant fire risk. Electric vehicles are not only cleaner, but safer!