With any type of technology, there are always safety risks involved. Gasoline-powered cars have been on the market for decades, and we’re familiar with the downsides of fossil fuels. We know that petroleum is high polluting and highly flammable. We understand that if such a vehicle starts on fire, you need to evacuate immediately before the flames result in an explosion.

Electric cars, however, are relatively new to the market, and we’re still understanding the safety concerns associated with this technology. It can be easy to assume that when a battery replaces gasoline, it eliminates the risk of fire.

This conclusion, however, is false. If you own an electric car, it’s important to understand the unique ways that fires can occur in such vehicles.

Combustion

Fires in electric cars typically start when there is an issue with the battery. Perhaps you unwittingly damaged the battery in a recent fender bender, or perhaps it has a defective circuit. You may not realize that such damage exists, and there may not be any warning signs, but such conditions could lead to a fire.

Unlike with gasoline-fueled fires, battery fires develop slowly. You could be driving your car and not even realize a fire has ignited. Worse still, the fire could start or escalate after you’ve turned off your car and left the area. If you parked in your garage for the night and a fire begins while you’re sleeping, for instance, the implications could be disastrous.

Extinguishment

Gas fires can be extinguished as quickly as they can start. However, for electric fires, it can take up to 24 hours to extinguish completely.

If you suffer personal injury or damage to your property due to an electric car fire, it’s worth consulting with an attorney to understand your options. If there was a manufacturer defect in the battery, you could be entitled to compensation.