One-sided study, false crash, excuses: AXA buzz in the face of electric cars

But what fly could she have bitten insurer Axa to be so angry about the burgeoning electric car market?

Accidents with electric cars: new risks for road safety? The Swiss industry has actually published a pseudo-comparative study that is supposed to prove this EV drivers cause more accidents than others

electric car drivers Cause 50% more collisions that damage your own vehicle as owners of conventional combustion models

The article, which was still online at the time of writing, even carried out a crash test to prove the danger of these vehicles with explosions, fires and everything. A Tesla Model S was even there sacrificed to prove to our Swiss friends how dangerous these kWh-loaded powerhouses were to drive in the event of an accident:

As part of the new annual crash tests, accident researchers at AXA identify the causes and consequences for road safety.

Except that this famous crash test was completely wrong. The car in the video has had its internal battery removed and the flames and explosion are actually from…pyrotechnic effects…a true Hollywood scenario!

In view of the commotion caused, the insurer had to apologize via press release:

While simulating an accident where an electric car catches fire, we had to take action to keep the public safe. So the test car had no battery and the fire was started remotely. In addition, the crash test, conducted on a Tesla-branded model, did not cause damage to the car’s underbody that could cause a battery fire, contrary to what the recorded images suggest. This test therefore did not confirm this accident scenario. We should have explicitly mentioned this fact in the communication after the test, especially in the press release and in the pictures provided.

Axa even confirms (it’s moon!) that the risk of fire is no greater with an EV than with a VT – what the video suggested though. Additionally, according to a recent study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), electric vehicles have a rate of 25 fires per 100,000 vehicles, compared to 1,530 for VTs and 3,475 for hybrid vehicles.

In retrospect, this test should have been designed differently to illustrate a perceived risk. In our media release, we made it clear that, according to statistics from AXA Switzerland, electric cars are no more flammable than conventional combustion vehicles. However, we have to acknowledge that the published images give a different impression when taken out of context.

Finally, Even more serious is the claim that EV drivers cause significantly more accidents than their thermal equivalents… not considering the category, performance or price of the vehicle. Given the few models currently on offer (and the majority of vehicles with high price and performance) a comparison of 500 CV models with Clio Diesel doesn’t really make sense. As Caradisiac also notes, the study includes a (rather incomplete, being labeled “expensive and/or powerful”) table by category and there, the difference between the vehicle types is noticeably fading (even if it stays against EVs):

One-sided study, false crash, excuses: AXA buzz in the face of electric cars

In short, even if it seems It is evident that the arrival of the electricity fairy and its instantaneous torque must undoubtedly be feared by new conductors (EVs are still rare in driving schools), one wonders what interest an insurer has in organizing such a scene at a time when air pollution is becoming a global problem.

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