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Agencies looking at electric vehicle safety as states phase out gas cars

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Posted at 10:53 AM, Apr 23, 2021

Some states are moving forward with plans to phase out sales of gasoline cars and pave the way for more electric vehicles on the road.

Because of that, agencies are taking a close look at electric car safety.

“We are seeing electric vehicles perform as well in our tests as their internal combustion engine counterparts and that's good news for consumers,” said David Harkey, President of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

The IIHS recently crash tested two new fully electric vehicles made by Ford and Volvo. Both received top safety scores. The Volvo was slightly better only because its headlights performed better.

But as far as avoiding collisions through automatic braking and protecting drivers and passengers during a crash, they did well and perhaps even better than standard vehicles.

In fact, a recent study of insurance claims compared nine pure electric vehicles to standard engine cars. It found electric car owners had 40% fewer injury claim rates.

The IIHS believes that has to do with the fact that electric vehicles weigh more because of the battery, sometimes as much as a thousand pounds more.

“And we know historically from looking at the crashes over the years that when you're in a heavier vehicle, you're going to have lower forces exerted upon your body when you're in a crash, and thus you're less likely to be injured. 1057

The agency also looked at fire risk and found they are not seeing any elevated danger with electric vehicles.

They've tested less than a dozen electric vehicles, but plan to do a lot more as more manufactures start to sell them.