AXA, Claims data on high-level risks of electric cars

AXA in a crash test demonstration on Thursday said luxury electric cars and sports utility vehicles could be 40% more likely to cause accidents than their standard engine counterparts, possibly because drivers are still getting used to acceleration. their fast, said French insurer AXA.

AXA regularly car crash tests. This year’s tests, which took place at a junk airport, focused on electric cars.

The numbers, based on initial trends from the claims data and not statistically significant, also suggest that small and micro electric cars are slightly less likely to cause accidents than their combustion engine counterparts.

Overall accident rates for electric vehicles are about the same as for regular cars, according to liability insurance claims data for “7,000 year risks” – at 1,000 autos on the road in seven years – said Bettina Zahnd, research director and accident prevention in AXA Switzerland.

“We saw that in micro classes and small cars a little less accidents are caused by electric vehicles. If you look at the luxury classes and SUVs, however, we see 40% more accidents with electric vehicles,” Zahnd said.

“We have certainly wondered what causes this and acceleration is certainly a theme.”

Electric cars accelerate not only fast, but also equally no matter how high the revolutions per minute, which means that drivers can find themselves going faster than they thought.

Half the drivers of electric vehicles in a study this year by AXA had to adjust their driving to reflect the new acceleration and braking features.

“Maximum acceleration is readily available as it requires a moment for even strong horsepower internal combustion engines to achieve maximum acceleration. This puts new demands on drivers,” Zahnd said.

Electric car sales are on the rise as charging infrastructure improves and prices fall.

Electric vehicles accounted for less than 1% of road cars in Switzerland and Germany last year, but accounted for 1.8% of sales of new Swiss cars, or 6.6% including hybrids, AXA said.

Accidents with electric cars are just as dangerous to people inside as with standard vehicles, AXA said. The cars are subjected to the same tests and have the same passive safety features as air cassettes and seat belts.

But another AXA study showed that most people do not know how to react if they encounter a scene of an electric vehicle collision.

In a serious collision, high-voltage auto power plants shut down, AXA noted, but damaged batteries can catch fire for up to 48 hours after a collision, making it more difficult to handle the consequences of an accident.

For a head-on collision test on Thursday, AXA teams removed the batteries of an electric car to reduce the risk of them catching fire, which could create intense heat and poisonous smoke.

Zahnd said studies in Europe had not replicated the US findings that silent electric vehicles have as much as two-thirds being more likely to cause pedestrian or cyclist accidents.

She said the jury was still unclear how the collision data would affect the cost of providing electricity against standard vehicles, citing this factor always reflected around the driver and the car.

While most of the factors are the same – securing the scene, alerting rescuers and providing first aid – he said paramedics should also try to ensure the electric motor is turned off. This is especially important because unlike an internal combustion engine the engine makes no noise.

“If I look around Switzerland there are many insurers that even give discounts on electric vehicles because one would like to promote electric cars,” she said./

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