Electric vehicles can and do occasionally catch fire. Such conflagrations appear to be reported in the news on a surprisingly regular basis. This raises several obvious questions. To begin, how frequently do EVs actually catch fire? Second, how does the probability of an EV fire compare to that of a vehicle powered by a petrol or diesel engine?
That’s where a useful article — allegedly part of a series of articles — from The Guardian comes in. It turns out that EVs are far less likely than other types of vehicles to catch fire.
The Guardian compiled a list of data sets reported from various countries, including Norway (the country with the highest concentration of electric vehicles in the world), Australia, and Tesla’s global fleet. The numbers are clear in every case: EVs are far less likely to catch fire than petrol or diesel vehicles.
So, why are EV fires reported so much more frequently than those involving internal combustion vehicles? There are numerous possibilities, some of which are obvious: because their proliferation on the world’s highways is a relatively new phenomenon, because there are many people who are opposed to electrification in general, and because EV fires can be quite spectacular