Experts Warn of Emerging New Electric Vehicle Disaster

Safety experts are now warning that a looming disaster facing electric vehicles (EVs) is beginning to emerge.

As Democrat President Joe Biden’s administration pushes for all Americans to shift to expensive and unreliable EVs, concerns are continuing to grow over their viability.

Meanwhile, safety experts are grappling with an array of infrastructure burdens and dangers associated with EVs.

One of the major safety issues with EVs is that they can weigh up to 50% more than traditional vehicles due to their heavy lithium-ion batteries.

Heavy electric vehicles damage roads, bridges, and parking garages.

This added weight means EVs can plow through highway safety guardrails with far greater force and pose a vastly increased danger to gasoline-powered cars, pedestrians, and bicyclists.

The problems associated with EVs are poised to grow as more consumers buy them under the Biden admin’s plan to eliminate gas-powered vehicles and force the public to drive electric alternatives.

In January, a group of engineers writing for Structure magazine warned that construction industries must adapt the nation’s infrastructure to support an increase in heavier electric vehicles.

The authors said parking garages are an example of infrastructure threatened by an increase in EVs, such as the Ford F-150 Lightning.

At 8,240 pounds, the electric truck weighs nearly 1,800 pounds more than Ford’s bestselling, gas-powered F-150.

“Significantly increasing passenger vehicle weights combined with recently reduced structural design requirements will result in reduced factors of safety and increased maintenance and repair costs for parking structures,” the engineers wrote.

“There are many cases of parking structure failures, and the growing demand for EVs will only increase the probability of failure.”

Another major EV safety threat unfolded this fall at the Midwest Roadside Safety Facility in Nebraska.

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Engineers pitted an electric-powered pickup truck against a standard highway guardrail.

They chose one of the heaviest EVs on the market — the 3.6-ton Rivian R1.

They sent the expensive electric truck speeding straight toward the metal guardrail at 62 miles per hour.

In a second experiment, engineers hurtled a Rivian down the road at the same speed and steered it into the guardrail at an angle.

In both cases, the Rivians ripped through the guardrail and continued onto the other side of the road.

“Increasing weight means that there’s a lot more force required to redirect that vehicle to the roadway,” University of Nebraska professor Cody Stolle, who led the study, explained.

“We found these guardrail systems don’t have great compatibility with these [electric] vehicles yet.”

Electric vehicles also have a lower center of gravity.

Although EVs are considered safe for their passengers, they may be more dangerous in crashes with lighter, gas-powered cars and more deadly on impact with bicyclists and pedestrians.

“Their extra weight will afford them greater protection in a multi-vehicle crash,” Raul Arbelaez, vice president of the Vehicle Research Center at the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, wrote in March.

“Unfortunately, given the way these vehicles are currently designed, this increased protection comes at the expense of people in other vehicles.”

Arbelaez believes that electric vehicles could become less of a drag on safety if technology is developed for lighter batteries or if consumers buy smaller electric vehicles with lighter batteries.

However, these vehicles would have shorter ranges than larger batteries and require more frequent charging.

The average weight of an electric battery is 1,000 pounds compared to the standard lead-acid battery for a car, which weighs 25 to 60 pounds.

“If we can rely on smaller batteries that have to be recharged more often, then we can invest more heavily in the charging network so it’s more reliable and there’s not that range anxiety,” Arbelaez said.

“Then we don’t have to have vehicles that are quite as heavy.”

Electric cars and plug-in hybrids currently make up 1% of all registered vehicles.

Although growth in EV sales has slowed, a record 1.2 million electric vehicles were sold in 2023, according to Kelley Blue Book.

President Biden announced last year that he would push for electric vehicles to make up half of all new car sales by 2030.

His administration is investing billions in taxpayer cash in car-charging stations and providing tax incentives to increase EV purchases.

However, Biden’s $7.5 billion plan to build a 500,000-strong charging network has yet to produce a single charger.

Last year’s bestselling electric car was a Tesla Model Y, which weighs 4,416 pounds on average.

A gas-powered Honda Accord weighs about 3,300 pounds, and the popular Honda Civic weighs less than 2,900 pounds.

On the SUV side, a 2024 Kia Sorrento weighs about 3,900 pounds.

Meanwhile, Kia’s electric SUV, the EV9, weighs about 6,450 pounds.

Eliminating many gas-powered vehicles and substituting heavier electric cars or SUVs could create crumbling residential roads built for lighter traffic volume.

Transportation engineers have warned that EVs could also shorten the life spans of bridges by adding to the stress, wear, and tear caused by heavy commercial trucks.

Republican Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) sent a letter asking Securities and Exchange Commission Chair Gary Gensler to “assess the risks of widespread EV adoption.”

Rudio is calling on Gensler to require electric vehicle makers to disclose those risks to investors, including potential damage to infrastructure.

“EVs are typically much heavier compared to similarly sized, gas-powered vehicles, which will put additional strain on America’s transportation infrastructure,” Rubio wrote.

“The American Society of Civil Engineers warns that an increase in EVs could substantially reduce the lifespan of roads and bridges, necessitating further investment in infrastructure.”

Road and bridge maintenance, construction, and repairs are funded mainly by the 18.3-cent federal tax on each gallon of gas and state gas taxes.

Electric vehicle owners in 33 states are charged extra fees, ranging from $50 to $200 per year, to make up for lost gas tax revenue and to account for the heavier weight.

Some lawmakers are proposing a federal tax on electric vehicles to help pay for their impact on the nation’s infrastructure.

“The significant increase in weight has a tremendous impact on roads, necessitating more maintenance and repairs over time,” a group of Republican senators wrote in a summary of proposed legislation that would impose two new fees on EV manufacturers.

The bill, sponsored by Sen. Deb Fischer (R-NE), would impose a $1,000 fee on manufacturers for each electric vehicle at the point of sale.

Manufacturers would be charged a second fee of $550 for batteries weighing more than 1,000 pounds.

“Our legislation will stop EVs from freeloading and force them to pay into the Highway Trust Fund like other vehicles,” Fischer said.

“If the Biden administration plans to continue pushing EVs on the American people, the least Congress can do is require EVs to support the upkeep of our nation’s infrastructure.”

READ MORE – Toyota: Electric Cars Will Never Dominate Market

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