Electric vehicles do not need to be filled up with petroleum and emit no greenhouse gases, which is why so many consumers in New York are choosing them. However, a growing body of research suggests that some of the most popular EVs are putting all road users in danger. An alarming rise in pedestrian deaths has been linked to the popularity of large pickup trucks and SUVs, and many of these gargantuan vehicles are powered by lithium-ion batteries instead of internal combustion engines. That worries road safety experts because EV batteries are extremely heavy.
Added weight, added dangers
The GMC Hummer EV is an example of this trend toward absurdly heavy electric vehicles. It tips the scales at 9,063 pounds, and its lithium-ion batteries weigh almost as much as Toyota’s popular Corolla sedan. That is concerning because the chances of being killed in a motor vehicle accident increase by 47% when one of the vehicles involved outweighs the other by 1,000 pounds. The GMC Hummer EV outweighs most other vehicles by at least 5,000 pounds.
Speed increases the risks
Road safety experts are also concerned about the speeds large and heavy EVs can reach and how quickly they can reach them. Vehicles like the GMC Hummer EV can reach 60 mph in under four seconds, which is faster than most sports cars. Most drivers cannot handle this type of acceleration, which is why a National Transportation Safety Board official said that the popularity of fast and heavy EVs will lead to ”unintended consequences.”
Those unintended consequences are increases in traffic accident injuries and deaths, and there seems to be little that can be done to prevent them. Auto manufacturers will continue to make the vehicles that consumers want, and lawmakers are unlikely to stop them. Until scientists develop lighter batteries, vehicles like the GMC Hummer EV should be given a very wide berth.