Electric Car Safety Checklist

By Carol Waterson on 12 February 2014

Buying a new car isn't like popping down to the shop for some milk. There are many things that can factor into buying a car, especially an Electric car.

Many motorists have been hesitant of the Electric Car due to potential fires or explosions. Electric cars run on lithium-ion batteries that can be thought to explode upon impact or collision. According to Fleet News, "Hard evidence from safety authorities such as Euro NCAP and The National Highways Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) suggests that new generation electric cars are among some of the safest cars available." Below, you can find a comprehensive list of what to know when purchasing an Electric car, from general car safety, road accident safety, cost verses petrol, charging convenience, taxes and MOT.

Car Safety

On 8 March 2013, the EU put in place a new list of regulatory context that explains the specific safety features that must be included in Electric cars to enhance road safety. There are new regulations on head restraints, and the noise of the automobiles, as well as tyre monitoring systems and lane departure warning systems. The new regulatory context also provides an Electric vehicle safety platform and Child Safety Platform to ensure continued development of safety features.

Road Accident Safety

The Electric car is often a concern on motorways since its design does not use petrol. Some UK residents are concerned if they are in a road accident that the lithium battery can explode or catch fire. There are some reports of this in the U.S. However, the safety features of the Electric car have been adjusted to prevent such an occurrence. Most Electric cars come with a one year warranty. And road side assistance options are available.

Charging vs. Petrol

Charging is cheap as chips. The cost of the Electric car verses one that runs on petrol or diesel makes this car very efficient. With money saving tariffs, most trips are around 1p per mile, giving you the equivalent of 100 miles per gallon on electricity. With the cost of petrol today, there is no argument that electric cars are a more cost efficient way to get round.


There are a plethora of tariffs and payment plans for charging at home or in public. Home charging is offered by British Gas. British Gas offers charging solutions, off-peak tariff savers and in some areas a free charging station package for your home. There are also a vast amount of public charge stations across the UK with different payment plans from membership of a tenner a month to pay as you go.

Electric charge point maps are available online from Ecars.com that list all charge points across Ireland and the UK. The app, for both iPhone and Android, is an absolute gem if you find your battery clapped out after being on the M4.


Servicing a car that runs on petrol can be absolutely ridiculous. You get to the garage only to find what would have been 50 quid is now over 100. With an Electric car there is little to no service involved, which means you don't have to MOT until the car is 3 years old. After buying the Electric car, a once a year check is all you need.

MOT and Taxes

The MOT is in place to ensure road safety. The UK requires electric cars to have MOT, but some Electric vehicles in certain weight categories don't require MOT at all. As far as road tax is concerned--there is none. However, you must display a road licence disc that can be obtained for free.


The fact is all of the Electric cars in the UK market have undergone extensive tests under both government and private testing works. As cars change so do government regulations and safety features. The best way to determine whether an electric car is for you is to review the features above. Do the maths on how much petrol you use to and from work, running round to say the shop, and short holidays. Factor in whether you qualify for a free charging station, if you work in city centre, how many charging stations are available if you can't afford one at home, and so forth. With very little servicing and no tax, this could be an excellent car, loaded with new safety features that can help you save bits of money for that next holiday you're planning.

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