Are the electric cars safer than gas-powered cars?

California has more electric vehicles per capita than any other state in the nation, … The Palo Alto [financial and ideological capital of Silicon Valley] city council voted 9-0 in favor of a proposal that would require new single-family homes to come pre-wired for an electric car charging station – read more.

A Tesla Model S electric car, touted as the safest car in America, caught fire on Tuesday, spurring new worries about the possible risks of lithium-ion batteries. In two recent incidents, involving Boeing’s new 787 plane and Chevrolet’s Volt hybrid car, fires have emanated from batteries of the same type – read more.

The fire in the car’s lithium ion battery pack erupted Tuesday morning when the driver ran over a metal object in Kent, Wash., triggering the first battery fire in the company’s history… [Meanwhile] Highway Traffic Safety Administration awarded Tesla’s Model S its highest five-star safety rating… – read more.

Every hour, there are an average of 17 automobile fires somewhere in the U.S., according to government data. Mechanical failure in internal combustion engines cause the majority, and burning cars filled with gasoline result in more than 200 deaths per year – read more.

There are 150,000 car fires per year according to the National Fire Protection Association, and Americans drive about 3 trillion miles per year according to the Department of Transportation. That equates to 1 vehicle fire for every 20 million miles driven, compared to 1 fire in over 100 million miles for Tesla,” Musk [Tesla CEO, Elon Musk] pointed out.

[Musk] also said the Tesla Model S. battery pack is a safer power source than “a large tank of highly flammable liquid” – read more.

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