Comparing Safety: Are EV Batteries Dangerous Than ICE Cars?

Posted On Jun 05 2024
EV Batteries Dangerous Than ICE Cars

As the automotive industry shifts towards electric vehicles (EVs), questions about their safety compared to traditional internal combustion engine (ICE) cars are becoming more common. One area of particular concern is the safety of EV batteries. Car wreckers in Perth have noted an increase in EVs arriving at their yards, prompting discussions about handling these vehicles safely. This blog explores the differences between EV batteries and ICE cars and assesses whether EV batteries are more dangerous than their ICE counterparts.

What Are EV Batteries And ICE Cars?

Electric vehicles (EVs) are powered by large lithium-ion batteries, similar to those found in smartphones and laptops but much larger. These batteries store electrical energy, which is used to power the vehicle’s electric motor. On the other hand, internal combustion engine (ICE) cars are powered by gasoline or diesel engines. These engines burn fuel to create mechanical energy, which then powers the vehicle.

What Is The Difference Between EV Batteries And ICE Cars?

EV batteries and ICE cars are different from each other. EVs are powered by electricity stored in batteries, whereas ICEs are powered by gasoline or diesel fuel. Other differences between EVs and ICEs are explained below: 

1. Energy Source and Storage

The primary difference between EVs and ICE cars lies in their energy sources. EVs use electricity stored in batteries, while ICE cars rely on liquid fuels stored in tanks. EV batteries are made up of numerous individual cells arranged in modules, which collectively form a battery pack. ICE cars use a combustion process to convert fuel into energy, resulting in various emissions.

2. Refueling and Charging

Refueling an ICE car involves pumping gasoline or diesel into the fuel tank, a process that takes a few minutes. In contrast, charging an EV battery can take significantly longer, depending on the type of charger used. Fast chargers can replenish an EV battery in under an hour, while standard home chargers may take several hours.

3. Maintenance and Lifespan

ICE cars require regular maintenance, including oil changes, filter replacements, and exhaust system checks. EVs, on the other hand, have fewer moving parts and require less maintenance. However, EV batteries have a limited lifespan and may need replacement after several years of use, which can be costly.

Are EV Batteries More Dangerous Than ICE Cars?

Following is a detailed description of whether EV batteries are more dangerous than ICE cars: 

1. Fire and Explosion Risks

One of the most significant safety concerns with both EV batteries and ICE cars is the risk of fire and explosion. While ICE cars carry flammable liquids that can ignite in the event of a collision, EV batteries can also catch fire if damaged or improperly managed. However, modern EVs are equipped with advanced battery management systems designed to minimize these risks. Studies have shown that the incidence of fires in EVs is comparable to, or in some cases lower than, that of ICE cars.

2. Thermal Runaway

EV batteries can experience a phenomenon known as thermal runaway, where a damaged cell overheats and triggers a chain reaction, potentially leading to a fire. Manufacturers have implemented various safety measures, such as robust battery casings and cooling systems, to prevent thermal runaway. ICE cars, while not susceptible to thermal runaway, can suffer from fuel leaks and engine fires, especially in severe accidents.

3. Accident and Impact Safety

In terms of crash safety, both EVs and ICE cars have their own sets of challenges and advantages. EVs often have a lower centre of gravity due to the placement of the battery pack, which can improve stability and reduce rollover risks. Additionally, EVs have crumple zones and reinforced structures to protect the battery pack. ICE cars have decades of safety engineering behind them, with well-established crumple zones and impact-absorbing structures.

4. Toxicity and Environmental Impact

The environmental impact of EV batteries versus ICE cars also extends to safety considerations. EV batteries contain hazardous materials that require careful handling and disposal, posing potential environmental risks if not managed correctly. ICE cars produce emissions that contribute to air pollution and pose health risks. While both types of vehicles have environmental and health implications, EVs are generally considered to have a lower overall environmental impact.


The safety comparison between EV batteries and ICE cars is complex, with both types of vehicles presenting unique risks and benefits. While EV batteries can pose risks such as thermal runaway and require careful handling, advancements in technology and safety measures have made them increasingly safe. Similarly, ICE cars, while benefiting from a long history of safety engineering, carry risks related to fuel combustion and emissions.