Electric cars bring new set of rules


There’s a new wrinkle in electric land.

A Chevy Volt apparently caught fire several weeks after a crash test. You can read about it here.

This isn’t a game changer. I’m sure that the Volt is just fine. But it does point out the issues with launching into new forms of technology. We’re used to crashing cars and then either fixing them or walking away. We know that we have to pay attention to leaking gas or fluids. For the most part, we can see or smell everything that is a danger.

Electric cars bring a new set of techno risks. Not better, or worse. Just different. How will crash responders have to work with electric cars? Are they different than hybrids? And what are we going to face when fuel cell cars finally arrive?

I’m a big fan of new technologies. I can’t wait for the next concept to be discovered (hopefully in my lifetime). But it’s always important to remember that (as the physicists like to point out) for every action there is a reaction. Electric cars may not pump out smog, but their batteries create a new kind of toxic waste and now it appears they cause some other risks. Before we embrace the next big thing, we need to remember there’s always something lurking in the shadows.

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