Wednesday, September 7, 2022

Electric trucks and SUVs are absurdly heavy and dangerous


The Ford F-150 Lightning, for instance, weighs around 6,500 pounds, about a third more than its gas-powered model. The Hummer EV is even more gigantic, tipping the scales at over 9,000 pounds, with a battery that alone is heavier than an entire Honda Civic. This additional weight creates force during a crash, increasing the danger to pedestrians, cyclists, and occupants of smaller cars.

The heft of electric vehicles is not their only safety risk. Even with heavy batteries, these vehicles’ electric powertrains allow them to accelerate unusually quickly. Chevrolet, for instance, touts its “Wide Open Watts Mode” that allows the Chevy Blazer EV, an SUV, to accelerate from zero to 60 in under four seconds—a speed that is comparable to popular muscle cars like the Dodge Charger and Ford Mustang. 


Consider the Ford F-150 Lightning. With no need to fit a gasoline engine underneath the hood, Ford could have restructured its front end to slope toward the ground, giving the driver a better view and making it more likely that a pedestrian or cyclist would roll off the top instead of absorbing a collision directly. Instead, Ford kept the tall dimensions 


Here’s a promising model: The District of Columbia recently adopted a creative vehicle registration fee schedule that charges owners of vehicles weighing more than 6,000 pounds $500 per year, seven times more than those registering light sedans. (D.C. gives EVs a 1,000-pound “credit.”)