Saturday, April 20, 2024

EV Battery Packs Could Exacerbate ‘Fatality Crisis’ on Roads, Experts Warn

'...we are likely to see many additional deaths and injuries attributable solely to the added weight of EV batteries...'

(Molly Bruns, Headline USA) Officials in the automotive industry raised concerns that the weight of electric vehicles may cause more serious traffic accidents.

On average, EVs weigh thousands of pounds greater than gas powered vehicles. According to the Daily Caller, the 2023 Hummer EV pickup weighs 9,000 pounds—including the nearly 3,000 pound battery. The battery itself weighs more than an entire Honda Civic.

One official warned of the effect that the massive vehicles could have on old infrastructure, such as highways and parking garages, as EVs become more commonplace.

Concerns about pedestrians in motor vehicle accidents have also surfaced.

“Since we’re seeing pedestrian and roadway fatalities at record levels, the introduction of more weight into crashes via EVs will complicate any attempts to reduce the ongoing fatality crisis that has showed [sic] no signs of abating,” acting executive director Michael Brooks of the Center for Auto Safety said.

“Unless we see incredibly rapid advances in battery design and vehicle designs, and taking smart steps like using battery energy density gains to save weight rather than extend range, or opening the doors to battery swapping, we are likely to see many additional deaths and injuries attributable solely to the added weight of EV batteries.”

Pedestrian deaths rose by 18% since 2019, with the “baseline fatality probability” per crash climbing by 47% for every 1,000 pounds of vehicle. Electric Vehicles also speed up at a higher rate than other vehicles.

Raul Arbelaez, vice president of the Vehicle Research Center at the Insurance Isntitute for Highway Safety, wrote that the increased number of EVs will inevitably increase the number of collisions with weight disparities.

“Assuming the new generation of heavy EVs is designed to perform well in our crash tests, there is no reason they can’t provide good protection to their occupants,” Abrelaez wrote. “In fact, their extra weight will afford them greater protection in a multivehicle crash. Unfortunately, given the way these vehicles are currently designed, this increased protection comes at the expense of people in other vehicles.”

The sitting administration continues to encourage the purchase and manufacturing of electric vehicles via tax breaks and other tactics. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm announced that the military is planning to adopt an all-electric vehicle fleet in the next seven years.

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