When it comes to battery safety, we take a look at two aspects:
It’s almost impossible to be electrocuted by an electric car, because:
- Electric cars use high voltage DC power instead of AC power. With AC power, any connection with an energized conductor and the earth can kill. With DC power, only connecting oneself between the positive and negative poles of the battery can cause a shock.
- The battery and all other energized components are isolated and protected against impacts.
- Electric cars use DC power. The battery is basically thousands of little cells connected in series. To get a shock, you would have to close the circuit with your body between a positive pole of a cell in the battery string and the negative pole of a cell sufficiently down the string. This requires deliberate effort.
- Electrical components, such as the battery, are rated IP66 or better. This means the battery is sealed against dust entering and protected against strong jets of water. So even in flooded streets, it’s highly unlikely that you get electrocuted by a Tesla.
You might be surprised to know that Tesla’s are less likely to catch fire than traditional cars. Here are some statistics:
Probability of ICE fire
According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) U.S. fire departments respond to an estimated 171,500 highway vehicle fires per year (source). These accidents resulted in an annual average of 345 deaths and 1,300 injuries.
Some 272.48 million vehicles were registered in the U.S.A. in 2017 (source). This means that there’s 1 fire per 1,588 cars.
Probability of Tesla fire
There are roughly 141,000 Tesla’s registered in the United States (through January 1, 2018 – source). Since 2013 there have been 8 Tesla fires (source), meaning that there’s 1 fire per 17,625 Tesla’s.
In other words: Tesla vehicle fires are exceptionally rare events. They are 11 times less likely to catch fire compared to ICE cars.