Challenges: Safety and health
As the desire to electrify transport systems continue to grow, there are also increasing concerns on how safe electric vehicles are and how they could help promote human health. With regards to safety, discussions border on electrical, traffic or functional safety. Electric vehicles are equipped with batteries and are often run on much more higher voltage system than conventional fuelled vehicles. As such, vehicles developers, policy makers and regulators continue to engage on how to ensure that batteries in electric vehicles are securely installed to limit the risks of chemical spillage especially during crashes; and how vehicles should be designed to protect users from electric shock. On functional or traffic safety, the silent nature of electric vehicles poses concerns for other roads users particularly pedestrians who may not hear the sound of incoming electric vehicles. Vehicle developers are gradually addressing this challenge with technologies that make electric vehicles emit audible sounds when running at low speeds. Regarding health concerns, electric vehicles are noted for zero tail pipe emissions; thus, produce negligible harmful pollutants when in operation. There are however other health concerns relating to the electromagnetic fields in electric vehicles which research could help address.
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