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Electric Car Risk: Different, Not Worse, Says Top NHTSA Regulator

Are electric cars as safe as cars with internal-combustion engines?

That’s been the subject of much debate–not to mention inaccurate media coverage–but the truth may entail more than a simple “yes or “no.”

During an interview at the 2014 Detroit Auto Show, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) deputy administrator David Friedman toldBloomberg Businessweek that electric cars don’t pose a greater safety risk than gasoline cars.

But, he said, they do pose different risks.

Friedman–who currently leads the NHTSA after the recent departure of Administrator David Strickland–said an agency team, including engineers and people who study consumer behavior, is now investigating drivers’ perception of electric cars.

He said consumers “aren’t used to the new challenges that electric vehicles pose.”



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