EV vs ICE In A Car Crash: Which Is Safer?

The electric vehicle revolution is rolling forward, leaving internal combustion engine (ICE) cars in the dust. But beyond the environmental debate lies a crucial question: when it comes to crashes, which kind of car reigns supreme in safety? Buckle up, as we dissect the EV vs ICE showdown in a car crash.

Here are a few important scenarios to consider for this detailed car crash analysis:

Crash Avoidance

Both contenders pack a punch in crash avoidance. EVs boast advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) like automatic braking and lane departure warnings, acting as digital guardians that proactively prevent car crashes. 

While some ADAS features are making inroads in ICE cars, EVs currently hold the upper hand in this tech-fueled safety race.

Fire Risk

When sparks fly, EVs hold a distinct advantage. Ditching the flammable fuel tank significantly reduces the risk of post-crash infernos. Statistics back this up, with EVs boasting a 60 times lower fire risk compared to their ICE counterparts. Here are the top 10 best electric cars on sale in the UAE.

ev vs ice car crash

However, a damaged battery in a car crash can pose a fiery threat, highlighting the need for robust safety protocols and emergency responder training. While less prone to battery fires, ICE cars face their fiery nemesis – leaks from a ruptured fuel tank.

Occupant Safety

The heavy battery pack, typically positioned low in the chassis, often forms a natural crumple zone, enhancing impact absorption and protecting occupants. On the other hand, ICE cars have long relied on carefully designed crumple zones, often in the front and rear sections, to mitigate crash forces.

The lower centre of gravity of ICE cars, especially SUVs, can increase the risk of rollovers in certain situations. Additionally, the engine and transmission could break the crumple zones and hurt the occupants in an ICE car crash.

Small Crash Repairs

crash comparison

Minor fender benders can be costly affairs for one of the contenders. EVs have fewer moving parts resulting in lesser damage and replacement parts. However, gasoline-powered cars are subjected to more damage due to more moving parts, especially the cooling unit which is placed right behind the front bumper.

Severe Crash Repairs

When car crashes turn severe, both EVs and ICE face hefty repair bills. Battery damage in an EV can significantly impact repair complexity and cost, as replacing a damaged pack can be expensive and require specialized facilities.

While severe crashes are never cheap for either type of car, the wider availability of parts and repair expertise for ICE cars might make the process slightly faster and less expensive.

Environmental Impact

The clash extends beyond the crash itself. EVs, even in accidents, leave a lighter footprint on the environment due to the absence of leaked gasoline or other harmful fluids. Battery disposal or recycling, however, needs to be done responsibly.

ev vs ice car crash

ICE cars, with their leaked fluids and reliance on gasoline, pose a significant environmental risk. This contaminates soil and water sources and contributes to greenhouse gas emissions.

Cost Of Repairs

Repair costs are also subjective to the type of car crash. Fixing an electric car could result in more time, translating to pricier repairs. Alternatively, gasoline car repairs are far more accessible and are fixed faster.

If your EV is involved in a crash, hope that the battery pack is not damaged. Replacing the battery could cost as much as 40% of the car’s price. Read the detailed analysis of ownership costs involved in EV vs petrol cars.

EV vs ICE Car Crash Conclusion

ev vs ice car crash

Both EVs and ICEs offer distinct safety advantages and disadvantages in a crash. EVs excel in crash avoidance, fire safety, and occupant protection, while ICEs benefit from affordable and accessible repairs. 

EV vs ICE: Ultimately, the “safest” car depends on individual priorities, driving habits, and environmental considerations. Choose wisely, drive responsibly, and remember, that the most important safety feature is always between the steering wheel and the driver’s seat.

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