LONDON: Electrical luxurious automobiles and sport utility automobiles (SUVs) could also be 40 % extra more likely to trigger accidents than their normal engine counterparts, probably as a result of drivers are nonetheless getting used to their fast acceleration, French insurer AXA stated.
The numbers, primarily based on preliminary tendencies from claims knowledge 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 stated at a crash check demonstration on Thursday.
AXA repeatedly carries out crash exams for automobiles. This yr’s exams, which befell at a disused airport, centered on electrical automobiles.
General accident charges for electrical automobiles are about the identical as for normal automobiles, in line with legal responsibility insurance coverage claims knowledge for “7,000 yr dangers” — on 1,000 autos on the highway for seven years — stated 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. If you happen to take a look at the posh and SUV courses, nevertheless, we see 40 % extra accidents with electrical automobiles,” Zahnd stated.
“We, in fact, have thought of what causes this and acceleration is actually a subject.”
Electrical automobiles speed up not solely shortly, but additionally equally strongly irrespective of how excessive the revolutions per minute, which suggests drivers can discover themselves going sooner than they meant.
Half of electrical automobile drivers in a survey this yr by AXA needed to modify their driving to replicate the brand new acceleration and braking traits.
“Most acceleration is obtainable instantly, whereas it takes a second for inside combustion engines with even sturdy horsepower to succeed in most acceleration. That locations new calls for on drivers,” Zahnd stated.
Gross sales of electrical automobiles are on the rise as charging infrastructure improves and costs come down.
Electrical automobiles accounted for lower than 1 % of automobiles on the highway in Switzerland and Germany final yr, however made up 1.eight % of Swiss new automobile gross sales, or 6.6 % together with hybrids, AXA stated.
Accidents with electrical automobiles are nearly as harmful for folks inside as with normal automobiles, AXA stated. The automobiles are topic to the identical exams and have the identical passive security options reminiscent of airbags and seatbelts.
However one other AXA survey confirmed most individuals have no idea the right way to react if they arrive throughout an electrical automobile crash scene.
Whereas most components are the identical — securing the scene, alerting rescue groups and offering first support — it stated 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 critical crashes, electrical autos’ high-voltage energy crops mechanically 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
For one head-on crash check on Thursday, AXA groups eliminated an electrical automobile’s batteries to scale back the danger of them catching hearth, which may create intense warmth and poisonous fumes.
Zahnd stated that research in Europe had not replicated US findings that silent electrical automobiles are as a lot as two-thirds extra more likely to trigger accidents with pedestrians or cyclists.
She stated the jury was nonetheless out on how crash knowledge would have an effect on the price of insuring electrical versus normal automobiles, noting this at all times mirrored components round each driver and automobile.
“If I go searching Switzerland, there are many insurers that even give reductions for electrical autos as a result of one want to promote electrical automobiles,” she stated.