Electric vehicle safety: Lexus explains

Electric vehicle safety

Lexus explains… is a new series designed to explain features, technologies and user questions related to modern vehicles. Each article provides clear, jargon-free answers, helpful tips and resources, as well as Lexus products or services that can help along the way. This article aims to demystify some of the questions surrounding electric vehicle safety.

Electric vehicle costs

Electric vehicle safety: context

It is common for people to feel apprehensive about adopting things that are new or different. Fear of the new can even lead people to label something as ‘unsafe’ simply because it functions in a slightly different way from what they have become used to.

For almost 140 years road users have been conditioned to associate vehicles with an internal combustion engine. But that is not the case anymore, as the shift to electric mobility is guaranteed in legislation. However, uncertainties surrounding this unfamiliar powertrain as well as its associated technologies has led some to question the safety of electric vehicles, feeling that they are more dangerous than vehicles fuelled by petrol or diesel. Are such fears justified, or can evidence calm the misconceptions of electro-sceptics?

See what you think as we address the following FAQs:

Electric vehicle range

Are there any safety features specific to electric cars?

⦁ Just one. Due to the near-silent nature of EV powertrains, since 1 July 2019 it has been a legal requirement for new electric vehicles to be fitted with an electronic noise emitter. This is in order that hearing pedestrians and cyclists have an opportunity to sense the car’s presence within their immediate vicinity and take appropriate action, even before making visual contact. Most EVs have sound devices installed front and rear, which produce a noise similar in pitch to that of an internal combustion engine

⦁ All other modern active and passive safety features are applied across all vehicle types, irrespective of their power source

⦁ While not a specific safety feature, EVs usually locate their large, heavy battery packs between the axles at the bottom of the car. This has a positive effect on the vehicle’s centre of gravity and weight distribution, which results in more intuitive and therefore arguably safer handling

Electric vehicle safety

Are there any safety risks associated with EV batteries?

⦁ It is true that severe damage to an EV’s battery pack and cooling system (if installed) can escalate into a phenomenon known as thermal runaway. Though extremely unlikely, thermal runaway can occur when a short-circuit within a severely damaged cell ignites the flammable material inside. In such circumstances it is theoretically possible for this fire to spread into neighbouring cells and eventually consume the entire battery pack

⦁ In order to protect EV battery packs from sustaining damage, manufacturers place them inside strong cases and within crash protection structures located away from areas prone to impacts. Incidentally, these casings are much stronger than the materials used for petrol or diesel fuel tanks

⦁ In addition, just as sensors are used to deploy supplementary restraint systems within the cabin in the event of an accident, similar sensors assess the severity of a collision and the potential that this has of damaging the battery pack. In such a case, special devices are activated to sever the high-voltage cables, thereby isolating the battery from the rest of the vehicle

Is it safe to charge an electric car in the rain?

⦁ Absolutely! If this was not the case, the UK would be one of the most dangerous places in the world to own and run an EV

⦁ The entire charging system is carefully shielded to protect the consumer, as well as the electrical elements from the natural elements. As an extra layer of protection, both the charger and vehicle’s on-board systems are designed to ‘talk’ to each other to confirm that the electrical connection is secure and uncontaminated before any electricity is supplied

Electric vehicle safety

Which safety features can you expect from a Lexus electric vehicle?

⦁ All Lexus EVs are equipped with our advanced Lexus Safety System + which addresses three key areas of accident prevention: frontal collisions, unintended lane departures and night-time accidents

⦁ The third generation of Lexus Safety System + was introduced in the 2022 Lexus NX and includes systems to enhance the driver’s awareness of their surroundings and further reduce the risk of an accident. In addition, the forthcoming Lexus RZ will incorporate two new features: Proactive Driving Assist with Steering Assist, which uses front-facing cameras to foresee approaching bends; and Driver Monitor to check for signs of fatigue or distraction displayed by the driver

⦁ The high-voltage electrical systems within all Lexus EVs are carefully designed to be isolated and disabled in the event of an accident. The major elements within these systems are also carefully positioned for optimal balance and greater vehicle control

Electric vehicle safety


When it comes to safety, modern materials, construction methods and safety technologies have ensured that all new vehicles are much safer than their predecessors, whether in everyday use or in the event of an accident.

Thanks to independent assessment programmes such as Euro NCAP, it is possible for consumers to choose their next car based on the hard facts of its safety performance and assisted driving technologies as well as subjective areas such as design. So the fact that EVs are subject to identical crash test methods and rating structures as internal combustion engine vehicles shows that we should also view them as equals in terms of safety evaluation.

Read more: Lexus explains – electric vehicle charging
Read more: Lexus explains – electric vehicle range
Read more: Lexus explains – electric vehicle costs


    1. Hello Rajiv,
      Thanks for your question.
      The driving range for this vehcile is ˃250 miles (WLTP combined cycle) and the battery capacity is 71.4 kWh.
      However, this data remains provisional prior to the RZ’s official homologation.

    1. Hello Lorriane,
      Thanks for your interest in RZ.
      Unfortunately, we have no information on this.
      Please contact your Lexus Centre.

    2. Does Lexus plan to have a software update for the RZ to increase its range
      Also do they plan to fix the charging port lid, mine has problems closing and I am told by the dealers this is normal
      For a 60K car just feels like it was designed in a hurry
      Sometimes have to press 4-5 time lock and does not go well when someone is holding a child in their hand, Thanks

      1. Good afternoon Yogi, apologies for the delay in coming back to you.

        At Lexus, we highly value any customer feedback and are paying our utmost attention to voice of the customer. Based on this and in the spirit of Kaizen, we have made a software update including several product enhancements available for the all-electric Lexus RZ 450e.

        The enhancements are available via software update and include improvements of the DC-charging performance and the visualisation of the remaining range, current state of charge (SOC) and real-life energy consumption.

        We’d kindly ask that you get in touch with your local Lexus Centre to find out if this applies to your Lexus RZ 450e and get it booked in.

        We hope this helps, Yogi.

        Thank you.

  1. When I drive a car or cycle I like to feel I am at one with the vehicle as an extension of myself and remain fully responsive to every need. A car with all the safety features you mention is, in my book, unpredictable and poses unnecessary dangers. I prefer a car that I drive and does not attempt to drive me. If such safety features exist I want to be able to turn them off completely. I also hope to recognize the time when my driving days are over and I am about to become a danger to myself and others.

  2. Hi,
    A question please,
    When will the yoke steering option be available and what pricing will this have?

    Thank you

  3. I am still waiting for a reply from my local dealership after speaking to them sunday 19 jan and being informed the “LBX will be available to view, put a desposit down, order as requested (Premiium plus?) over weekend from 16th feb. I will call you to confirm so the model can be viewed” Never got the phone call bck and when I requested update around 8th. feb without giving my name it was a case of “This is a special invitation event and it is fully booked” and now 5 weeks after stating I wish to purchase an LBX I still have had no phone call.
    It seems now that the LBX will not be available for anyone to view until end of march, maybe order for delivery later in the year?
    This seems less than Toyota standard, let alone Lexus!!

    1. Morning Dave, thank you for bringing this to our attention.

      We’re sorry to hear your local Lexus Centre haven’t been in touch yet.

      Please may you send us your details to toyota.blog@tgb.toyota.co.uk and let us know which is your preferred Lexus Centre so we can get in touch with them.

      We don’t want you missing out on the new Lexus LBX.

      Thank you.

      1. Thanks for your response today to my earlier comment.

        As much as I would like to advise which is my local dealer it would not take much to identify both my original call and the follow-up as there is only one dealership within 100 miles of our home which could serve no purpose to anyone involved.

        I wish to visit this dealership still with a view to an LBX purchase and do not wish to predudice this first impression with any negative information.

        Obviously I will ensure I select a salesperson which will be a clean start to hopefully a new vehicle as soon as available.

        My wife and I will visit and we both prefer that no reference to our earlier disappointment is not forwarded beyond this.

        Thanks again for you update, best regards Dave

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