Study results raise concerns about electric vehicle dangers

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(The Center Square) – A new report indicates that electric vehicles are more prone to pedestrian incidents than their counterparts.

A British study found that collisions with pedestrians were twice as likely with electric or hybrid vehicles as they were with gas or diesel-powered vehicles.

Myke Luebbers of the Illinois Freedom Alliance has worked with both propane and electric forklifts.

“As noisy as the propane is, it is a benefit because you can hear those forklifts coming down an aisle. Whereas an electric fork truck, until it gets within a few feet of you, you don’t hear the whine of that electric motor,” Luebbers said.

The report published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health suggests that the risk to pedestrians is even greater in urban environments.

As more Illinois drivers use electric vehicles, other issues with lithium batteries have become more prevalent.

Luebbers explained that crashes become more dangerous when there’s heat from lithium batteries.

“Fires-wise, as a volunteer firefighter, hybrid vehicles and full-electric vehicles present a whole other set of problems for us,” Luebbers said.

Luebbers added that flooding the vehicle with water works better than foam to extinguish the blazes.

The farming community also has concerns with electric vehicles. Luebbers said the batteries have a lack of staying power for agricultural work.

“A lot of farmers joke, ‘well, you want to sell me an electric tractor, how long is the extension cord gonna be?’ They are not fans of it by any means,” Luebbers said.

According to the Illinois Secretary of State’s office, there are now more than 100,000 electric vehicles registered in the Land of Lincoln.

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