The impacts of electric cars on road safety: Insights from a real-world driving study

Philippe Nitsche (Speaker), Michael Aleksa, M. Winkelbauer, Marko Harnisch, Michael Kammer

Research output: Chapter in Book or Conference ProceedingsConference Proceedings with Poster Presentationpeer-review


In this paper, we explore the differences in vehicle dynamics and drivers´ behaviour between electric cars (ecars) and conventional cars with combustion engine. Our research aimed at revealing potential safety risks due to a higher e-car penetration, e.g. incidents or conflicts with other road users that primarily occur with e-cars involved. To do this, we conducted a real-world driving study with 90 participants on a pre-defined route. Each participant had to complete the route with an electric as well as a similar conventional car that both recorded video, GPS data and 3D accelerations. Our results show that the effects of an electric engine on "non-extreme" vehicle dynamics are negligibly low compared to other factors such as transmission type. Surprisingly high decelerations were measured during the e-car´s recuperation phases, which might lead to risks for follow-up drivers. The analysis of questionnaires showed that the participants felt safe and got used to the e-car quickly.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTRA 2014 Proceedings
Publication statusPublished - 2014
EventTRA 2014 -
Duration: 14 Apr 201417 Apr 2014


ConferenceTRA 2014

Research Field

  • Former Research Field - Mobility Systems


  • Electric cars; road safety; traffic accidents; e-cars; vehicle dynamics; driving study; driver behaviour.


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