Green Car Technology: Is It Really Safe?

Hybrid cars have become more and more popular nowadays, what with all the benefits they offer. But when you say that these machines run on electricity and natural gas, a lot of people steer clear of these “green cars” thinking they are threatening. Once you take a good look at what these eco-friendly vehicles are made of though, you will realize they aren’t necessarily more dangerous than those that run on gasoline.

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CRASH TESTS

The best way to measure how well a specific hybrid car can protect you and your loved ones in the event of a road collision is to know its crash tests results. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, a crash-testing company, tested conventional hybrid models: Honda Insight, Toyota Prius and Honda CR-Z. All three vehicles passed the tests. According to IIHS spokesman Russ Rader, “As long as the weight of the hybrid is not significantly greater, and the automaker made no structural modifications to the front of the vehicle to accommodate the hybrid system, then there should be no difference in frontal or side crash-test performance.”

HIGH VOLTAGE

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Battery packs for plug-in and full hybrid car models are designed to withstand harsh mobile environments, including jolts, extreme temperature and vibrations. The vehicle’s structure also protects the packs from crashes, and they contain hundreds of individual cells. So even if there might be a severe breach that damage separate cells, the pack itself is not full of acid that can spill. Aside from that, batteries are equipped with voltage-leak sensors and inertial cutoffs that detach the battery from the rest of the vehicle to prevent shock should anything go wrong. For example, during an airbag deployment, the battery pack is immediately isolated. This is why hybrid battery packs are known to have performed fairly well since it was introduced.

Most post-collision fires are not caused by fuel, but by electrical short-circuits from 12-volt cables. This is why the hood of the car should be popped open and the 12-volt battery disconnected in the event of a car crash. Given all this information, are you now convinced to go for a hybrid car?

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