Electric Car Drivers Should Be Aware of Unintentional Rapid Acceleration | Conduct

Electric car accidents: new risks for road safety?

I’electromobility is growing “forced”.

Electromobility is now a big trend in the automotive industry.

Almost half of the Swiss population is convinced that electrification will profoundly transform mobility, as evidenced by the AXA Switzerland 2022 electromobility study.

The battery electric vehicle craze seems limitless.

Almost a third of respondents have already driven an electric vehicle.

And one in two people surveyed already imagines buying an electric vehicle in the future.

What’s more, those who already own one aren’t willing to give it up anytime soon: 98% of Axa Switzerland’s customers who own an electric car don’t plan to switch back to a combustion vehicle.

According to Axa’s 2022 electromobility study, around 60% of respondents believe that the risk of an accident is greater with an electric car than with a combustion vehicle.

Overall, the level of knowledge about electric cars is relatively low.

Driving powerful electric vehicles is very different from that of combustion models. According to the Axa study, more than 50% of electric car drivers had to adapt at first, especially when braking.

According to the mobility study, 33% of respondents believe that releasing an accident victim is more dangerous in an electric car than in a model equipped with a combustion engine.

As the statistics from Axa Switzerland show, Electric car drivers cause 50% more collisions causing damage to the vehicle itself than owners of traditional combustion models. With powerful electric cars, collision damage is more than doubled compared to standard combustion vehicles. Michael Pfäffli explains this phenomenon: “The more powerful the vehicle, the more drivers damage their own vehicle or that of others. In concrete terms, powerful models cause 30% more damage to third parties (liability claims). This would be mainly explained by the power of the lithium-ion batteries integrated in these vehicles. “The battery is the heart of the electric car.” It has an impact on the power and therefore the handling of the vehicles, but also on the weight and construction. The battery also has a decisive influence on recovery and rescue operations.says Michael Pfaffli.

Electric cars differ from combustion vehicles in their different acceleration characteristics, but also in their construction and weight.

Driving powerful electric vehicles is very different from that of combustion models.

Tips for driving an electric car:

Electric car drivers should be aware of the involuntary rapid acceleration phenomenon (overlay effect). The management of this instantaneous power is learned. It is recommended reduce speed manually to induce greater pedal resistance. “However, our analyzes show that the main risks appear when you don’t slow down, but when you accelerate”, continues researcher Michael Pfäffli. According to the researcher, many people would underestimate the so-called overtapping effect: “Most electric cars, especially powerful models, offer very high torque. Just tap the accelerator to realize it. This can result in unintentional, jerky, and uncontrollable acceleration.

Electric car drivers must give pay special attention to the underbody. Whenever possible, electric car drivers should avoid climb the ravines or of roll on stones, so as not to damage the underbody. Analysis by accident researchers at Axa reveals that the underbody can be damaged if the car drives over a median (on a roundabout, for example) or rocks. If the battery is very well protected on the front, back and sides by additional reinforcements, it has a weak point: “The underbody appears to be the Achilles heel of these cars, in the absence of additional battery protection. Drivers need to be aware of this.says researcher Michael Pfäffli.

Drivers of a heavy electric vehicle generally benefit from superior intrinsic safety. They should be aware of their responsibility towards other drivers: Light thermal vehicles are at a disadvantage in a collision with rigid electric vehicles equipped with high voltage batteries weighing almost 400 kg. The light thermal vehicle is subjected to much greater stress during the crash test and therefore visibly suffers more damage to the body than its electrical counterpart. “In the event of a collision, the weight difference between the vehicles involved is decisive. The lighter vehicle is at a disadvantage because it experiences greater energy stress than the heavier vehicle., explains accident researcher Michael Pfäffli. Axa’s statistics confirm this: a very heavy passenger car (over 2,000 kg) causes on average 10% more material damage than a light vehicle (less than 1,000 kg). According to Michael Pfaffli: “In a few years, the average weight of a new battery-powered vehicle should reach two tons.”

It is essential to provide first aid, even when the accident involves an electric car. In most cases, the fear of an electric shock during a rescue operation is unfounded.. The occupants of an electric vehicle are well protected. In the event of an accident involving an electric vehicle, it is often feared that rescue teams tasked with freeing the occupants will be exposed to danger. “This fear is unfounded, because the chances of the car still being under power are very small”explains Michael Pfäffli, head of research and accident prevention at Axa. Whether a petrol or electric vehicle, the risk of fire remains very low and largely overestimated by the Swiss population.. According to statistics, only five out of 10,000 cars catch fire. Axa’s statistics reveal that electric vehicles don’t catch fire more often than combustion cars.

Source : study on electromobility by Axa Switzerland 2022

Methodology: The Axa Switzerland 2022 Electromobility Study is based on two representative population surveys carried out by Axa Switzerland in 2022, as well as a special survey of 1,285 Axa Switzerland customers who own an electric car or plug-in hybrid model.

Image of Dominick Vietor from Pixabay

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