CHARLOTTE, N.C. — North Carolina will soon be the home of two more electric vehicle battery factories. Toyota and Vinfast both announced multi-million-dollar facilities to create new technology to meet the growing demand for electric and hybrid vehicles. Many people have questions and concerns about the batteries, like do they have a higher chance of catching on fire? We’re going to tackle one of them right now.
Does an electric vehicle battery have a higher chance of catching fire than a gas-powered car engine?
- Emma Sutcliffe, director of EV FireSafe, an Australia-based research project looking into the risks electric vehicle fires pose to first responders
- Matt Moore with the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety
No, electric vehicle batteries do not have a higher chance of catching fire than gas-powered car engines.
WHAT WE FOUND
Sutcliffe’s team has been collecting data on electric vehicle battery fires across the globe since the first one was reported in 2019. She’s particularly interested in fires involving high-voltage batteries.
“Electric vehicle, lithium-ion battery fires are very rare; we’ve been able to verify less than 200 globally since 2010,” Sutcliffe said. “So they’re very rare at the moment.”
Moore and IIHS have focused on this concern in the United States, and found similar patterns.