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So how safe are electric cars?

page: 1

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posted on Jun, 6 2012 @ 08:59 AM

this brought to my attention that some EV vehicles can explode on impact. (actually not sure if it exploded on impact or after)

its a BYD (chinese car) electric taxi, i believe its full electric.

what happened was a Nissan GTR smashed into the back of it at about 100mph. Now first of all, at those speeds most likely fatalities are expected, actually the article says the GTR driver survived, kudos to nissan on building a safe car, and obviously BYD have a track record of building very very unsafe cars.

im more concerned about the EV exploding.. they say it uses a lithium iron phosphate cathode battery type, where most other EV use a lithium cobalt oxide cathode battery.

this wiki page says this:

lithium iron phosphate cells are much harder to ignite in the event of mishandling especially during charge,

although thats during charge..

im not sure, but how likely is a lithium ion battery likely to explode in a serious accident?
is this more a concern for EV vehicles?? or is it mostly just poor craftsmanship on BYD's behalf?

personally i didnt realise EV vehicles could explode in an accident.

posted on Jun, 6 2012 @ 09:02 AM
meh, i would still buy a tesla roadster if i had cash

posted on Jun, 6 2012 @ 09:26 AM

Originally posted by wlord
meh, i would still buy a tesla roadster if i had cash

u.s. spend $529 million on fisker

Now on topic,

I think they are as safe as most other vehicles. Some draw backs, but so do most combustion engine vehicles.

I feel there weight will play a big roll in an accident. And also battery locations.
I know lithium ion batterys can "explode" but not like a lipo battery.

I just never have thought batteries and an electric motor is the way to go.

Being a mechanic, these cars are very hard to work on. And very dangerous to work on.
You have to buy plastic tools to work on them to prevent electrocution. And parts are excessive in costs.

All EV vehicles, are a no go in my book. Even the hybrids are complete waste. The fisker could of been good idea. Because it uses an engine to act like a generator. A lot like a train. But, with how much money the car is, and how much money was spent to produce it. And it only has a 100 mile range. Complete waste.

posted on Jun, 6 2012 @ 09:43 AM
reply to post by MoosKept240

Damn them Wright boys is just crazy, if man was supposed fly he would have wings.

You know if you get them new fangled gas buggies up to over 60 mph - you can't breath and every body in the buggy dies.

They really ruined cars with all that emissions crap -- too bad we'll never see a car again with over 150 hp.

Yeah -- heard all that before.

The only sure fire way to fail is to never try.
edit on 6-6-2012 by spyder550 because: (no reason given)

posted on Jun, 6 2012 @ 11:13 AM
They are perfectly safe as long as you dont drive them in the bath.

posted on Jun, 6 2012 @ 12:04 PM
For the past 100 years or so; drivers have been sitting atop a tank full of highly flammable liquid powered by a symphony of synchronized explosions.

The electric car is - at least in principle theory - far safer.

Now - like any device - shoddy construction or poor design considerations can compromise the safety... but that is on the manufacturer, not the concept of an electric car.

That said - safety isn't exactly a good purchase point for electric vehicles. They are not appreciably safer than an internal combustion engine to justify the price.

Honestly - electric cars are a bit premature. "Hybrids" are the better practical option - but the types of engines necessary to drive their efficiencies even higher have not yet reached marketability (compression ratios high enough to eliminate the spark plug combined with rotary 'piston' design). All-electric cars suffer from poor endurance and expiration dates on the batteries.

In most cases - the price of an electric car (and even a hybrid) is simply not justifiable compared to the energy savings they offer. Electric cars will never pay themselves off within the vehicle's expected lifetime (figure in cost of battery swaps, too). Hybrids can pay themselves off - but their exact cost/benefit varies by driving habit; and in most cases it is not an appreciable difference when compared to a higher efficiency 'standard' vehicle.

In other words - electric cars and hybrids are in direct competition with standard lines of the Corolla, Taurus, Focus, etc. In most cases - and for most individuals - the hybrid and electric models do not offer a benefit that is substantial enough to justify the purchase.

Where the hybrid models shine is in the SUV/Mini-Van category. They can be very practical family vehicles while offering the fuel economy of a much smaller class of vehicle.

Electric cars don't really have a niche outside of zealots, honestly. Public transportation, bicycles, and walking all compete with the roughly 30 mile operating radius of an all-electric vehicle (where you are using it to drive to work, get groceries, and do a little around-town activity). People in that segment are not necessarily looking for a means of transportation to work, but a means of personal freedom outside of their 'bubble.'

Which is why an all-electric car will not be carried very well by the market until the ability to "fuel up" is satisfied. Recharges must be fast and seamless ("battery swapping" is not going to go over too well from a logistical standpoint - it may be done in some areas for a while - but I just don't see it being too popular). That means super capacitors or bust. It also means a monstrous power grid able to deliver the power necessary to provide megawatts of energy at any given time to a substantial portion of the road traffic (per 'quick-stop' - terawatts over geographic regions).

That translates to nuclear power (or some yet to be developed form of fusion).

People often forget about the "square one" issue. All electric cars don't pull energy from nothing - the power at the wall comes from power some place else. Right now - that's largely coal, oil, and gas with some nuclear and hydro thrown in.

You need a consistent, reliable, and manageable power source for all of those electric cars. Solar can't do it alone. Wind can't do it alone. Wind and solar cannot do it combined. Hydro can supplement regions - but most of the applicable regions have already been exploited and will be defunct in another 200-300 years when silt congests the reservoirs.

It will still be far more efficient to do electric cars that way than to power our vehicles using synchronized explosions - but we all need to be aware that an electric car still requires energy to operate - and that energy likely comes from coal combustion. - Less disastrous than its inefficient ICE - but still not a 'solution' to the emission problem in and of itself.

posted on Jun, 6 2012 @ 12:11 PM
I would buy a Hybrid.

Like someone mentioned, Pure Electric car are still at their early stages, maybe in about 5 years we will see a improvement.

As for exploding battery, given the right circumstances, your exploding gas tank can cause more damage.

posted on Jun, 7 2012 @ 03:43 AM
Belive it or not the first fully electric car was sold to an english aristocrat in 1897 by ferdinand porsche. thats a fact. the tech has been around a looooooooong time it has just been surpressed by big oil. pretty disgusting really.

posted on Jun, 7 2012 @ 07:00 AM
reply to post by Elvis Hendrix

Belive it or not the first fully electric car was sold to an english aristocrat in 1897 by ferdinand porsche. thats a fact. the tech has been around a looooooooong time it has just been surpressed by big oil. pretty disgusting really.

Indeed; it is quite disgusting you would think such a thing.

Confused? Let me explain why it is you should never procreate either biologically or as a surrogate:

Electricity has been around for a long time. Before petroleum refining, to be certain.

However, the automobile was made possible by petroleum. Electricity, even now, is not an adequate replacement for the energy available in petroleum. It has an energy density that vastly exceeds any known energy storage medium for electricity - and super-capacitors have the potential to store as much as ten times the amount of energy as the best lithium-ion batteries in research laboratories.

There is no way the automobile would have been adopted as a means of primary transportation without petroleum. Electricity was expensive, difficult to produce (spare for coal combustion), and the endurance of said vehicles made them a novelty compared to the practicality of horse-drawn carriages.

Steam powered vehicles were more practical in the sense that one could almost always find wood debris to fuel the vehicle with.

Both electric cars and steam cars predated the petroleum powered vehicle and its internal combustion engine. "Big oil" didn't exist when the electric car and the steam car were first debuted - and it didn't become big until the overwhelming practicality of petroleum made it a valuable resource.

"Big oil" became big because it was the first and only practical means of powering long-distance transportation. Electric cars were never any real competition.

Even as we move forward and electrical storage technologies improve - petroleum is not in the least likely to be supplanted as a fuel source for vehicles. The next ten years sees the evolution of the internal combustion engine and its role: no longer a direct drive system, but as a power generator for a primarily electrical system (which is far more efficient).

The next twenty to thirty years sees the eventual supplanting of the internal combustion engine - but not with a large system of batteries/capacitors. Hydrocarbon fuel cells will catalyze many different forms of hydrocarbon fuels (from diesel to gasoline to alcohols) directly into electricity with efficiencies of double anything possible by even the most advanced internal combustion systems (between 80 and 90% conversion efficiency).

Unless something absolutely radical comes along - petroleum will remain a staple of energy for our transportation needs. Electrical systems will lead to much higher efficiencies and allow us to utilize fuels more effectively - but there simply isn't another source of power like petroleum.

Barring some absolutely spectacular results in fusion technologies that could allow for a fusion reactor to fit under the hood - or some kind of "non-local power bus" (a way to "teleport" energy without transmitting it through classical space) that would allow large reactors to power thousands... even millions of vehicles 'magically' (as conveniently as magic, that is... and as explicitly as can be described at this point).

How we use it will change. But the fact that it represents a very potent resource cannot and will not be overlooked.


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