This is unlikely, provided that the vehicle is driven moderately and the battery charge is estimated and charged according to the range. Sudden discharge of the electric car battery due to external influences, for example, is extremely rare. The twelve-volt starter battery is more likely to be a reason for a breakdown. This actually ranks first in the reasons for breakdowns in electric cars, followed by electrical problems. The statistics also include conventional breakdown services for electric cars for tyres, door locks or the immobiliser, for example – but there is no significant difference in these areas compared to conventional petrol or diesel vehicles. If the electric vehicle nevertheless breaks down, the following should be noted: conventional towing must be avoided to prevent damage to the electronics.
Based on the frequency of breakdowns in electric cars, the twelve-volt battery ranks first in the statistics. The battery, also known as the starter battery in combustion-engine vehicles, comes in first place for breakdowns at over 50 percent. Specific components of electric cars such as batteries or charging technology are affected less frequently. 17.6 percent of cases related to the electrics of the electric vehicles, while breakdown assistance was required for the drive batteries in 7.4 percent of cases.
No, electric cars pose no greater risk of fire than vehicles with a combustion engine. If a fault occurs in the system, electric cars are designed to immediately interrupt the current flow from the battery. This means that all high-voltage components are disconnected from the battery so that there is no longer any voltage present. A fire can only occur if this protective mechanism is damaged in the event of an accident. The high-voltage battery is installed in the underbody of the vehicle – where it is well protected in the event of a crash. It becomes dangerous if it is damaged in the event of a severe impact and the battery cells catch fire one after the other. Oxygen is released, which ignites the fire again and again. This chain reaction is known as a “thermal runway”.

If possible, electric cars should not be towed. The control electronics could be damaged because an inactive on-board system cannot influence the energy generated by the wheel movement of an axle during electric car towing. Electric cars should therefore ideally be transported on a recovery vehicle. This is how you can prepare for transport:

  1. Remove the ignition key and deactivate transponder systems such as “Keyless Go”.
  2. Pull out the disconnection plug of the high-voltage battery (breakdown assistance).
  3. Only lift electric vehicles at the designated points to avoid breaking the battery complex.
  4. Residual voltage is also possible after switching off the high-voltage system. The electric car can only be moved after a few minutes.
In the event of an electric car breakdown abroad, you can get help from local emergency call or recovery services. Various automotive clubs such as the ADAC also offer their members international breakdown assistance. Mobility guarantees promise free and fast assistance without differentiating between domestic and international locations. It is also advisable to check the vehicle insurance for breakdown assistance abroad.