EV battery experts also underscore that fires in electric vehicles occur at lower levels than gasoline cars. For example, Abuelsamid said there were 212,000 gas-vehicle fires in 2018, among 290 million vehicles. “That works out to about 10 times the frequency in the Bolt,” he said.
The proper comparison would be to compare the number of spontaneous combustion of EVs to spontaneous combustion of ICE vehicles. Both types of cars can encounter spontaneous fires – EVs from battery defects and ICE from fuel leaks and both ICE and EVs due to electrical and component problems.
When I did a quick look online at non-collision fires, it looks like – roughly – the incidence of spontaneous (not due to collision) fires might be more similar than different. In other words, about the same? Non collision fires in ICE vehicles seem to occur while the vehicle is in use, whereas many EVs have caught fire while parked and unused.
Without that data at hand, their “10 times” claim resembles a misleading Strawman Argument.