IIHS Considers Lowering Speed ​​Limits Due To Danger Of Large EVs

Electric vehicle safety primarily revolves around fire. Many people worry that their electric car will burn into a ball of fire in an accident or while charging, but that is rarely the case. Instead, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) believes there is one more thing people need to pay attention to when it comes to vehicle safety. it’s weight.

In a blog post on the IIHS website, IIHS Research Center Vice President Raul Arbelaez outlines why weight is a top concern for modern EVs. “After 55 EV crash tests and zero fires after that, I am still worried about these batteries, but for more mundane reasons than the possibility of them exploding,” Arbelaez claims. “My biggest concern is how heavy they are and what that extra vehicle weight means for the safety of people on the road, especially light vehicle occupants and pedestrians and cyclists. ”

The problem is complicated. American shoppers are 300 miles of range It’s like the magic number for electric cars. To achieve this kind of range in a large pickup truck or midsize SUV, automakers must equip the vehicle with huge battery packs that make EVs heavy.Arbelez points nissan leaf GMC Hummer EV as an example. The 2011 Leaf weighed 3,339 pounds and the current Hummer EV weighs 9,500 pounds. The Hummer EV is so heavy that IIHS was concerned that the crash tester would not be able to handle the huge vehicle.

that’s not all Hummer EVArbelaez claims that most EVs the lab tests weigh over 6,000 pounds. IIHS had to do some weird testing to make sure their equipment could handle the weight of a big EV, but a heavy EV crashed in a regular gas car weighing 3,000 pounds. The situation becomes more precarious when you think about what you will encounter. Up to 5,000 lbs.

Anyone who took a physics class in high school knows that in a head-on collision, the big object always wins. As Arbelaez points out, “the heavy vehicle pushes the light vehicle backwards, so the person in the light vehicle experiences more force and the person in the heavy vehicle experiences less force.” So while a big, heavy EV keeps passengers safe inside in a crash, it can be dangerous for everyone outside the EV.

In addition to posing a threat to other drivers on the road, heavy EVs are also extremely dangerous for pedestrians and cyclists, and you may have no idea why. Powerful electric motors that produce instant power allow EVs to accelerate in a straight line at incredible speeds. The heavy EV problem is slowing down. Arbelaez isn’t sure big EVs will have the braking performance needed to bring cars to a stop fast enough to avoid pedestrians and cyclists. Automakers are quick to boast speeds from 0 to 60 miles per hour, but few people want to discuss how long it takes to go from 60 miles per hour to zero.

Unfortunately, America loves big pickup trucks and SUVs. Automakers also make the vehicles that they sell. As such, we do not believe that small EVs are included in the card. At least not in the near future. Arbelaez hopes automakers will work on battery chemistries to make them more powerful and smaller.He also asked the automaker to automatic emergency braking systems for pedestrians and cyclists, powerful headlights so that you can find them at night. Another recommendation Arbelaez has is for states and local governments to lower speed limits.

Photo: 2022 GMC Hummer EV SUV (top), 2022 Nissan Leaf (middle)

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