Since electric vehicles are marketed, each accident or fire that involves such a device has been very heavily publicized. So much so that it makes them pass for potentially dangerous vehicles …
No later than last week is the very last Tesla Model S « Plaid » which caught fire in Pennsylvania in the United States, with its driver still behind the wheel.
Since the electric vehicles have been put on the market, every accident or fire that involved such a vehicle has been highly publicized. Earlier in the year, it was a Tesla Model Y crashed into a police vehicle on a highway in the United States, while autopilot mode was activated.
Often, electric vehicles receive top marks in tests EuroNCAP for Europe or NHTSA for the United States. There is a clear explanation behind these good ratings: more often than not, their level of equipment is much more provided than the equivalent thermal models.
Many of them are also top-of-the-range machines, which often carry more active safety equipment as an adaptive governor or a lane keeping aid.
Likewise, the driver assistance systems are often very efficient: automatic emergency braking, identification of pedestrians and cyclists, automatic call for help with geolocation, etc.
And this is not the autopilot who is responsible for the many accidents. The manufacturer Tesla, for example, ensures that there are 10 times fewer accidents with its cars controlled by the autonomous driving device than claims for all cars in the United States. The Palo Alto firm recalls, however, that when this mode is activated, the driver must keep his hands on the steering wheel in all circumstances.
It’s true, electric cars can catch fire. Just like thermal cars. The problem being spontaneous combustion : there have been some cases of electric car fires as a result of various causes. For example after an accident, after recharging or sometimes for no apparent reason.
If there is one manufacturer who suffered from this bad reputation, at least in its infancy, it is the firm of Elon Musk. But whether Tesla or another manufacturer, every problem has given rise to careful study and improvements have been made accordingly to ensure maximum safety.
Part of the reason electric cars can catch fire relatively quickly is the drums which, if damaged, releases an intense source of heat causing a fire. This is due in particular to the lithium, highly flammable element, which is present in the batteries of electric vehicles.
To counter this phenomenon, the casing of the battery packs has been reinforced by the manufacturers and additional protections have been added.
Likewise, following intensive use of the vehicle interspersed with ultra-rapid recharging, the temperature of the battery cells is liable to reach a critical threshold if their management via software is poorly done. To counter this phenomenon of overheating which may have led to fires in the past, the manufacturers concerned have modified internal control software in order to limit the charging power in these particular situations.
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