New research analysing car fires in the United States has found that electric cars are dramatically less likely to catch fire than other vehicles, while hybrid vehicles are surprisingly much more likely, even compared to ICE vehicles.

US-based insurance referral website AutoinsuranceEZ analysed data from the US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) and found that electric gas vehicles were significantly less likely to catch fire than both ICE vehicles and hybrid vehicles.

In fact, as can be seen, per 100,000 vehicle sales only 25.1 on average experience a fire, and only 52 electric car fires have been recorded.

Hybrid vehicles, however, are much more likely to experience a fire, with an average of 3,474.5 vehicle fires per 100,000 hybrids sold. In the middle, though still dramatically higher than electric vehicles, ICE-based vehicles suffer from 1,529.9 fires per 100,000 sales.

“Based on this data, electric vehicles don’t catch fire nearly as much as the news claims,” explains Rachel Bodine, writing for AutoinsuranceEZ. “Hybrid cars seem to be the most dangerous for fires, followed by gas vehicles.”

The AutoinsuranceEZ researchers also analysed 2020 vehicle recall data related to fire hazards and found that both hybrid and electric vehicle fire hazard-related recalls all related to battery issues. The researchers concluded that “it seems to be mostly battery issues that can lead to fires, rather than electrical wiring issues.”

This stands in stark contrast to the numerous fire hazard-related recalls for ICE vehicles, which stemmed from fuel leaks, electrical shorts, and anti-lock braking systems (ABS).

These findings stand in stark contrast to the hyperbolic media coverage that has recently prompted some towards concern over whether their electric vehicle is spontaneously going to catch alight. Unsurprisingly, much of the media has aimed for headlines over accuracy or honesty, failing to highlight the sheer number of fires from non-EVs.

Extracted in full from: EVs have extremely low chance of catching fire – but hybrids much more risky (