Worried that an electric car might explode after a collision? In fact, after extensive crash testing like the side-impact test pictured here, the Chevy Volt and Nissan Leaf were awarded five stars and high safety ratings for rollover protection and front, rear and side collisions.
PHOTO: NATIONAL HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SAFETY ADMINISTRATION
General Motors CEO Dan Akerson is sworn in on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2012, prior to testifying before the House Regulatory Affairs, Stimulus Oversight and Government Spending subcommittee hearing entitled, "Volt Vehicle Fire: What did NHTSA Know and When Did They Know It?"
J. SCOTT APPLEWHITE
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration chief David Strickland, left, is greeted on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2012, by Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, prior to testifying before the House Regulatory Affairs, Stimulus Oversight and Government Spending subcommittee hearing on the safety of the all-electric car, the Chevy Volt.
J. SCOTT APPLEWHITE
A Nissan Leaf electric car is plugged into a charging station at the Seward Park Co-op apartments on the Lower East Side of Manhattan May 6, 2011 in New York. Connect by Hertz unveiled its first rental electric car and charging station in New York City where customers can rent this car by the hour.
The electric Leaf and Volt both earned 5-star crash safety ratings.
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
This Friday, March 25, 2011 photo shows James Brazell as he poses with a charging unit for his Chevy Volt electric car at his home in Asheville, N.C. Brazell plugs the car in after short trips. "Pretty much I top it up every time I bring it into the garage," he said.
Experts say cars carrying batteries are safer than cars carrying gas tanks.
One gallon of gas has the explosive power of 30 sticks of dynamite, but it's generally not perceived as dangerous.
At this point, most Americans have internalized the precautions necessary for safety around gas-powered vehicles.