Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) and electric vehicles (EVs) must meet the same safety standards required for conventional vehicles sold in the United States. This means that most electric vehicles undergo the same safety testing as conventional vehicles and must meet all the same standards for safety, including crash testing and airbags.

However, it is important to note that some manufacturers are eligible for exemptions from otherwise common United States safety standards. These exemptions are sometimes available to smaller manufacturers who produce a limited number of vehicles per year. Thus, buyers should compare the safety features of each vehicle before purchasing!

Also, low speed electric vehicles, sometimes referred to as "Neighborhood Electric Vehicles", are subject to much less stringent standards. These vehicles are limited to roadways with maximum speed limits of 35 mph or less.

PHEVs and EVs have high-voltage electric systems that range from 36 to 300 volts. Manufacturers have been careful to design these vehicles with safety features that deactivate the electric system in the event of an accident. In addition, EVs tend to have a lower center of gravity than conventional vehicles, making them less likely to roll over.

Emergency response for electric drive vehicles is not significantly different from conventional vehicles. Electric drive vehicles are designed with cutoff switches to isolate the battery and disable the electric system. Additionally, all high-voltage power lines are colored orange.

Source: US Department of Energy Alternative Fuels and Advanced Vehicles Data CenterSafety
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