All-Electric Nissan LEAF Rear-Ends Bus
The federal investigation into safety concerns related to the Chevy Volt were closed last month, and hopefully will continue to recede in the rear-view mirror. As opposed to the simulated tests conducted on the Volt, real-world accidents involving plug-in cars will begin to create a set of data points about EV safety.
Just last week, Oregon's Yamhill Valley News-Register reported that a 2011 Nissan LEAF collided with a Yamhill-Carlton school bus in the early morning hours of Jan. 31. Fortunately, the school bus was empty and the driver of the LEAF, Robert Hill, suffered only minor injuries.
Oregon State Police were called to the scene and cited Hill for careless driving. It's believed that Hill rear-ended the bus, which was stopped waiting to turn left after traffic cleared.
State troopers report that the LEAF's front and side airbags deployed. Hill was treated for his injuries at the scene. Meanwhile, the driver of the bus escaped injury.
Though Gaston Rural Fire District was on the scene, the heavily damaged Nissan LEAF did not ignite—providing at least one example of a crashed electric vehicle showing zero signs of possible fire. There are nearly 20,000 new plug-in cars on US roads, and unfortunately some of them will be in accidents. Each case will teach us something—and ultimately, the aggregate data from all EV-related accidents will create a sober and realistic accounting of the relative fire safety of an electric car versus vehicles fueled by gasoline or diesel.
New to EVs? Start here
What Is An Electric Car?
Before we get going, let's establish basic definitions.
A Quick Guide to Plug-in Hybrids
Some plug-in cars have back-up engines to extend driving range.
Electric Cars Pros and Cons
EVs are a great solution for most people. But not everybody.
Eight Rules of Electric Vehicle Charging Etiquette
Thou shalt charge only when necessary. And other rules to live by.
Seven Things To Know About Buying a Plug-In Car
A few simple tips before you visit the dealership.
Eight Factors Determining Total Cost of Ownership of an Electric Car
EVs get bad rap as expensive. Until you look at TCO.
Federal and Local Incentives for Plug-in Hybrids and Electric Cars
Take advantage of credits and rebates to reduce EV costs.
Guide to Buying First Home EV Charger
You'll want a home charger. Here's how to buy the right one.
Electric Car Utility Rate Plans: Top Five Rules
With the right utility plan, electric fuel can be dirt cheap.
The Ultimate Guide to Electric Car Charging Networks
If you plan to charge in public, you'll want to sign up for charging network membership (or two).