Are Electric Cars Hazardous to Your Health?

Technological innovation constantly moves forward. The nature of man is to keep questioning things, and to always look to improve upon current methods. As our reliance on fossil fuels has started wars, transformed the environment and caused serious financial and physical problems, engineers have worked tirelessly to come up with the next improvement. One of the solutions that’s been put out there is the electric car. There are now thousands of hybrids and fully electric vehicles on our roads, each of which claiming as much as 100 miles per gallon of gas and a far smaller carbon footprint. But as we’ve seen with other innovations over the years, this leap forward has a hidden cost. The cars may be saving fossil fuels, but are they a danger to mankind? Are electric cars actually hazardous to your health?

The answer is a bit terrifying, but there is significant evidence that suggests this is the case. First of all, there’s the way that electric cars react to accidents. Motor vehicles are inherently dangerous. Tens of thousands of people die in the US every year due to auto accidents. Electric vehicles have taken away one of the primary killers in car accidents, which is the threat of a gasoline explosion. But the lithium ion batteries inside these vehicles have been known to explode all on their own.

Lithium ion batteries are quite energy dense. There’s far more energy packed inside each battery than you would think based on its size. You’ve probably seen reports of cellphones or laptops catching fire due to malfunctioning batteries. Well imagine the possible impact when a battery like this is involved in a high speed collision. The major manufacturers have included cooling systems that are supposed to take care of these problems, but the danger is still very real.

That’s not the only problem. Accidents aside, there may be a long term health risk to driving these electric cars. Think of it like a cellphone. Many experts have suggested you should always use a hands-free device, as your phone creates an electromagnetic field when it is in use. Holding that device close to your brain for hours a day could lead to serious illness later on in life. And according to some recent reports, electric cars develop the same sort of field when in motion. But this time you’re sitting inside that field.

Obviously, the risk has yet to be fully ascertained, and you should take this with a grain of salt. There are electromagnetic fields all around you, thanks to power stations and wireless activity. But the government has yet to weigh in on any specific standards for exposure to these fields. There have been reports, however, of an increase in childhood leukemia, as well as blood pressure maladies due to constant exposure over a long period of time. The jury is still out on whether there is any sort of causal relationship, but it is something you should certainly keep in mind before choosing to purchase an electric vehicle.

Finally, there is the impact of electric cars on pollution. A recent study out of China showed that electric vehicles polluted the environment even more than gas vehicles. It’s a shocking thought, but one that makes a lot of sense if you dig under the surface. Electric cars don’t require much gasoline, but generating the electricity used to charge them does. That means the more electric vehicles on the road, the larger the output required from a power plant. Those are huge polluters, and could actually do more damage than gas-powered vehicles. Just as you can buy a policy at that’s serviceable but potentially falls short in the long run, so it is with the electric car revolution. You might feel like you are doing your part for the environment by driving one, but the savings now could actually cost the overall health of the country over the long term.