Fires aren’t an EV security concern however weight is, warns IIHS

Fires aren’t an EV security concern however weight is, warns IIHS
Fires aren’t an EV security concern however weight is, warns IIHS

EV fires are inclined to get a number of consideration, however the Insurance coverage Institute for Freeway Security (IIHS) warns that EVs’ added weight—and the harm it could actually inflict on different street customers—is the actual security concern.

“Fifty-five EV crash exams and 0 fires later, I’m nonetheless fearful about these batteries, however for a extra mundane cause than their potential to burst into flames,” Raul Arbelaez, vice chairman of the IIHS’ analysis middle, wrote final week in a weblog submit. “My greatest concern is how heavy they’re and what all that additional automobile weight means for the security of individuals on the street, particularly occupants of lighter autos in addition to pedestrians and bicyclists.”

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2022 GMC Hummer EV fitted with accessories - 2021 SEMA show

2022 GMC Hummer EV fitted with equipment – 2021 SEMA present

Present EVs usually weigh greater than equal internal-combustion autos due to the big battery packs wanted by most autos to attain adequate vary. If automakers cannot considerably cut back weight, then they need to contemplate redesigning EV crash constructions to assist compensate for it in collisions with lighter autos, Arbelaez argues.

Making use of the accessible house that will in any other case be occupied by an engine, automakers may add crush house to the entrance ends of their EVs to attain this, Arbelaez suggests.

“Whereas we normally take into consideration crumple zones as vital for shielding a automobile’s personal occupants, extra house would additionally shield folks in different, lighter autos.”

Mercedes-Benz Vision EQXX

Mercedes-Benz Imaginative and prescient EQXX

The additional weight of EVs in comparison with internal-combustion autos is one thing the IIHS has checked out earlier than, however with a rising portion of EVs on the highways, it is undoubtedly a rising concern. Extra of these EVs are additionally massive vans, the 9,000-lb GMC Hummer EV being top-of-the-line examples of that development.

Along with security considerations, added weight can have a detrimental impression on total emissions. A current research confirmed that lighter EVs are the greenest autos by way of total carbon footprint. One other research discovered that larger batteries can increase particulate emissions—together with and particularly, from tires.

Not each automaker is locked into larger batteries. Mercedes-Benz has thought-about going again to air-cooled batteries and emphasizing aero as a part of an effort to go light-weight, demonstrating these concepts in its Imaginative and prescient EQXX idea.


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