DUEBENDORF — Electrical luxurious automobiles and sport utility autos (SUVs) could also be 40% extra more likely to trigger accidents than their normal engine counterparts, presumably as a result of drivers are nonetheless getting used to their fast acceleration, French insurer AXA mentioned.
The numbers, based mostly on preliminary tendencies from claims information and never statistically vital, additionally counsel small and micro electrical automobiles are barely much less more likely to trigger accidents than their combustion engine counterparts, AXA mentioned at a crash check demonstration on Thursday.
AXA recurrently carries out crash exams for autos. This 12 months’s exams, which passed off at a disused airport, centered on electrical automobiles.
Total accident charges for electrical autos are about the identical as for normal automobiles, in accordance with legal responsibility insurance coverage claims information for “7,000 12 months dangers” — on 1,000 autos on the highway for seven years — mentioned Bettina Zahnd, head of accident analysis and prevention at AXA Switzerland.
“We noticed that within the micro and small-car courses barely fewer accidents are brought on by electrical autos. In the event you have a look at the posh and SUV courses, nevertheless, we see 40% extra accidents with electrical autos,” Zahnd mentioned.
“We after all have thought of what causes this and acceleration is actually a subject.”
Electrical automobiles speed up not solely rapidly, but in addition equally strongly regardless of how excessive the revolutions per minute, which implies drivers can discover themselves going quicker than they meant.
Half of electrical automotive drivers in a survey this 12 months by AXA needed to regulate their driving to replicate the brand new acceleration and braking traits.
“Most acceleration is out there instantly, whereas it takes a second for inside combustion engines with even robust horsepower to succeed in most acceleration. That locations new calls for on drivers,” Zahnd mentioned.
Gross sales of electrical automobiles are on the rise as charging infrastructure improves and costs come down.
Electrical autos accounted for lower than 1% of automobiles on the highway in Switzerland and Germany final 12 months, however made up 1.eight% of Swiss new automotive gross sales, or 6.6% together with hybrids, AXA mentioned.
Accidents with electrical automobiles are nearly as harmful for folks inside as with normal autos, AXA mentioned. The automobiles are topic to the identical exams and have the identical passive security options like airbags and seatbelts.
However one other AXA survey confirmed most individuals have no idea how you can react if they arrive throughout an electrical car crash scene.
Whereas most components are the identical — securing the scene, alerting rescue groups and offering first assist — it mentioned helpers must also strive to make sure the electrical motor is turned off. That is notably vital as a result of not like an inside combustion engine the motor makes no noise.
In severe crashes, electrical autos’ high-voltage energy vegetation routinely shut down, AXA famous, however broken batteries can catch hearth as much as 48 hours after a crash, making it harder to cope with the aftermath of an accident.
For one head-on crash check on Thursday, AXA groups eliminated an electrical automotive’s batteries to cut back the chance of them catching hearth, which might create intense warmth and poisonous fumes.
Zahnd mentioned research in Europe had not replicated U.S. findings that silent electrical autos are as a lot as two-thirds extra more likely to trigger accidents with pedestrians or cyclists.
She mentioned the jury was nonetheless out on how crash information would have an effect on the price of insuring electrical versus normal autos, noting this all the time mirrored components round each driver and automotive.
“If I go searching Switzerland there are many insurers that even give reductions for electrical autos as a result of one wish to promote electrical automobiles,” she mentioned. (Reporting by Michael Shields. Modifying by Jane Merriman)