Patrick Gabridge: EVs fire no more dangerous than gas-powered vehicles

Yan Krukau/via Pexels

Yan Krukau/via Pexels Yan Krukau/via Pexels

Published: 04-08-2024 6:05 PM

While I certainly appreciate coverage of the local fire departments, as well as of the changes we're seeing towards EVs in the transportation sector, the article about firefighters prepping to deal with potential fires in EVs was oddly inflammatory [“Firefighters prep to meet ‘unique challenge’ as electrical vehicles gain popularity,” Gazette, April 2].

Someone only glancing at the article might come to the conclusion that EVs pose a frequent serious fire risk, whereas the statistics in the article tell a different story. According to the article, only 14 out of 2,000 vehicle fires are from EVs in Massachusetts every year (0.7% of vehicle fires), even though they make up 4-6% of registered vehicles. This shows that EVs are dramatically less likely to catch fire than a gas powered car, 80-90% less. But this fact is not mentioned.

The latter half of the article discusses the challenges of extinguishing an EV fire, ending with a killer line "Realistically, these fires are beyond the average motorist's ability to handle." However, isn't that also true of gas-power car fires? I'm not equipped to put out a fire in gas-powered car, either. I'd call the fire department. And as for hazardous materials, you can be confident that the burning of the materials in a gas-powered car are also unsafe. Certainly it's true that new technologies require new training for safety and emergency personnel, but it's important not to slant the reporting to make it appear that these new vehicles are more dangerous than gas-power cars, when in fact the opposite is true.

Patrick Gabridge

Florence

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