Electric vehicles are complicating car safety testing
Electric vehicles are complicating car safety testingHeather Hamilton
December 31, 03:00 AM December 31, 03:00 AM
Electric vehicles are complicating car safety testing due to their heavier weight.
Vice President Raul Arbelaez of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s Vehicle Research Center said that electric vehicles’ batteries are “pushing vehicle mass higher.”
With the increased weight of electric vehicles, IIHS engineers need to ensure crash machines can handle getting heavier cars up to 40 mph in 600 feet before they hit the crash test barriers.
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To date, the heaviest vehicle tested is the 2019 Audi e-tron, which weighs under 6,000 pounds. However, Arbelaez said that the weights of “some of these electric vehicles that have been advertised as coming in the next few years” will be much higher, with “one as high as 9,500 pounds.”
General Motors has said the 2022 GMC Hummer electric truck tips scales at 9,046 pounds. Its battery alone is said to weigh nearly 3,000 pounds.
Arbelaez said engineers have successfully loaded “old junkers” with heavy steel and concrete, seeing that they can match the weight of the heavier electric vehicles.
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However, because the crash tests only consider crashes at 40 mph and estimate the likelihood of injuries for those inside a tested car, it remains unknown how extensive the injuries might be after a car is hit by a heavier electric vehicle.
“The larger vehicles often stay in their lane while sending smaller cars well out of theirs,” Kelley Blue Book stated, acknowledging vehicle safety engineering will soon become “a lot more complicated.”