Electric automobiles have a tendency to want additional bulk for his or her gigantic battery packs, and that is elevating eyebrows on the National Transportation Safety Board. In a keynote speech, NTSB chair Jennifer Homendy stated she was apprehensive the dimensions and weight of contemporary EVs might improve the chance of great accidents and loss of life. A Hummer EV is over 9,000lbs, the board chief stated, whereas electrified variations of autos just like the Ford F-150 and Volvo XC40 are far heavier than their gasoline engine equivalents.
Homendy harassed that she supported the Biden administration’s environmental objectives, and that transportation represented the biggest contributor to American greenhouse gasoline emissions. She simply felt that automakers needed to be cautious of making “unintended consequences,” equivalent to extra street fatalities.
There is a few information to counsel that EVs’ added weight could pose a hazard. Green Car Congress pointed to a 2021 commentary in Nature the place researchers calculated that the mortality prices of the F-150 Lightning’s additional 700kg (1,543lbs) over the gasoline mannequin ‘rival’ its zero-emissions advantages. The possibilities of passengers dying in a collision improve 12 % with each 500kg (1,102lbs) of weight distinction, the analysis staff stated. While these points would possibly diminish as extra EVs attain the market, they might stay an issue so long as combustion engine and electrical automobiles need to share the street.
Technical options would possibly assist. Scientists are already growing lighter batteries, and the primary EVs with denser solid-state batteries (which may obtain related vary with smaller packs) are just a few years away. While EVs with this expertise are nonetheless more likely to be heavier than their fossil fuel-burning counterparts, the load discount might enhance security along with vary.
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