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As terrified motorists share horror stories of being ‘kidnapped’ by their electronic cars, the Mirror examines the hidden dangers of modern vehicles and smart technology

More Brits are driving electronic vehicles (EVs) than ever before – but are they safe? (stock photo)(Getty Images/iStockphoto)

The safety of electric cars is causing concern as terrified motorists report ‘losing control’ of their vehicles at high speeds.

Last year, sales of electric vehicles (EVs) shot up by more than a third with an estimated 975,000 EVs on the road in the UK, according to SMMT reports. But a survey last month of 2,000 motorists found that 85 percent feel EV production still has a long way to go before they’d consider making the switch.

In recent months, EVs have been linked to safety incidents and experts have shared their concerns that the failures and risks of smart technology are being ignored. On Wednesday, a helpless driver found himself trapped behind the wheel of an out-of-control EV on the motorway after an ‘electrical fault’ stopped him from being able to brake.

Nathan Owen’s £80,000 electric car accelerated 100mph on the M62 yesterday and he feared he was going to die or kill other drivers

Police cars swarmed the M62 and used specialist tactics to bring the car to a stop. Driver Nathan Owen, 31, feared he was ‘going to die or kill innocent drivers’ as his £80,000 black Jaguar I-Pace accelerated up to 100mph. He told Mail Online: “The car was in its own world – it just had no brakes. The worst thing about it is that it’s happened before.” Jaguar Land Rover has confirmed it’s investigating the incident as a priority.

Nathan isn’t alone – back in October, Brian Morrison, 53, found himself ‘kidnapped’ in his car. The Glaswegian was unable to use the brakes on his £30,000 MG ZS EV after the car suffered a ‘catastrophic’ malfunction and began driving itself at night. He was forced to dodge red lights and roundabouts until police were able to stop the vehicle.

Brian told Wales Online: “I was completely trapped inside the car going at 30mph. It might not sound like it is very fast, but when you have no control over the speed and you’re completely stuck inside, it’s terrifying.” A roadside repair mechanic said he had ‘never seen’ anything like it and Brian is now unsure about driving an EV again.

Brian Morrison said he was ‘kidnapped’ by his EV after it suffered a malfunction and couldn’t brake(Katielee Arrowsmith SWNS)
He called 999 and police were able to stop the vehicle by forcing it to crash into their van last October(Courtesy Brian Morrison / SWNS)

To understand the myths and hidden dangers with EVs, the Mirror spoke to technology expert James Bore, from security company Bores. His biggest concern about electronic cars is their smart technology systems. James explained: “All of the potential dangers around EVs involve the smart technology systems crammed into them – rather than the fact they’re electric.”

He continued: “There’s a tendency for electric cars to rely on more technology and more integrated systems. Any time you add complexity, you’re increasing the potential for failure. So the more tech in a car, the more that can go wrong. Speed limiters, cruise control, lane assist – these all have the potential to fail and cause problems, particularly with cars that self-drive.”

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