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Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Fires aren’t an EV security concern however their 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 may well inflict on different highway customers—is the true security concern.

“Fifty-five EV crash assessments and nil fires later, I’m nonetheless frightened about these batteries, however for a extra mundane cause than their potential to burst into flames,” Raul Arbelaez, vp of the IIHS’ analysis heart, wrote final week in a weblog put up. My largest concern is how heavy they’re and what all that additional car weight means for the protection of individuals on the highway, particularly occupants of lighter automobiles in addition to pedestrians and bicyclists.”

2022 GMC Hummer EV fitted with accessories - 2021 SEMA show

2022 GMC Hummer EV fitted with equipment – 2021 SEMA present

Present EVs typically weigh greater than equal internal-combustion automobiles due to the big battery packs wanted by most automobiles to attain enough vary. If automakers cannot considerably scale back weight, then they need to contemplate redesigning EV crash buildings to assist compensate for it in collisions with lighter automobiles, 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 safeguarding a car’s personal occupants, extra house would additionally defend folks in different, lighter automobiles.”

Mercedes-Benz Vision EQXX

Mercedes-Benz Imaginative and prescient EQXX

The additional weight of EVs in comparison with internal-combustion automobiles 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 large vehicles, the 9,000-lb GMC Hummer EV being probably the greatest examples of that development.

Along with security issues, added weight can have a damaging affect on total emissions. A current examine confirmed that lighter EVs are the greenest automobiles when it comes to total carbon footprint. One other examine discovered that greater batteries can enhance particulate emissions—together with and particularly, from tires.

Not each automaker is locked into greater batteries. Mercedes-Benz has thought of 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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