Electric vehicles have never been as popular as they are today and many backers of the technology believe it is the future of transportation. While the popularity is gaining and more manufacturers are making EVs, the NTSB is raising concern over the safety of some of these new vehicles.
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The NTSB chair Jennifer Homendy has said that she is worried about the increased curb weight of electric vehicles, which could pose a safety threat. “I’m concerned about the increased risk of severe injury and death for all road users from heavier curb weights and increasing size, power, and performance of vehicles on our roads, including electric vehicles,” Homendy said in remarks prepared for the group.
Homendy used the GMC Hummer EV as an example of the issue she is referring to. The Hummer EV can accelerate as quickly as some sports cars and carries a weight of nearly 9,000 pounds. Most of the weight comes from the battery packs inside the Hummer.
Now that EVs are increasing their range, that also means an increase in battery pack size and, thus, the weight. So curb weight is a significant concern for the NTSB.
The issue recently led the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety to test its crash-testing equipment to see if it could handle the upcoming wave of EVs, like the 7,000-pound Rivian R1T midsize pickup that received the highest safety rating.
“We have to be careful that we aren’t also creating unintended consequences: More death on our roads,” Homendy said. “Safety, especially when it comes to new transportation policies and new technologies, cannot be overlooked.”Fox News
The NTSB says that many EVs weigh more than their gas counterparts, citing that the Ford F-150 Lightning EV pickup weighs up to 3,000 pounds more. It will be interesting to see where the agency takes this argument and if there will be regulations.
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