- With a curb weight of more than 7,100 pounds, the Rivian R1T plowed through a steel guardrail at 60 mph.
- The crash test underscores safety experts’ concerns about faster and heavier electric cars.
- On average, a new car is heavier, which can pose certain risks to the environment.
New video of a Rivian truck exploding through steel guards during a crash test highlights some of the safety concerns experts have raised with heavy-duty electric vehicles.
Last year, researchers at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Midwest Highway Safety Facility wanted to see how the fenders, which can be used on U.S. roads, would perform against the Rivian R1T electric truck, which weighs more than 7,100 pounds.
The results are not pretty.
According to the university’s Nebraska Today editorial, the Rivian truck, which was traveling at 60 mph, slowed slightly and drove through the steel guardrails.
The guard is made of 12-gauge corrugated steel attached to 6-inch-deep steel studs, the publication said. The top of the railway is more than two and a half meters above the ground.
Spokesmen for the Midwest Highway Safety Administration and Rivian did not return requests for comment.
The bigger the car, the more dangerous the accident
Safety experts have previously expressed concern about the risks that heavier cars and heavier EVs could bring to the roads.
Ann Carlson, acting administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, told reporters last January that the agency was “deeply concerned that heavier vehicles are causing more fatalities,” Reuters reported.
“It’s safer if you don’t look at the communities around you and other vehicles on the road,” he said. “It’s actually a very complex interaction.”
An analysis of 18,000 pedestrian crashes published by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety in November found that pickup trucks, SUVs and vans with hood heights greater than 40 inches were 45% more likely to die than vehicles with hood heights of 30 inches. little.
Safety experts in the UK say the heavy weight could cause old parking lots to collapse across the country.
Concerns about heavier cars come as the world sees a turning point between two trends: a growing appetite for bigger cars and the slower, albeit slower, adoption of electric vehicles.
Small and large electric cars are heavier than their gasoline counterparts due to their batteries.
Kevin Heaslip, a professor at the University of Tennessee and director of the Center for Transportation Research, told Politifact that electric vehicles are often 30% heavier than gas-powered vehicles.
At the same time, automakers are seeing more demand for larger vehicles.
In recent years, automakers have slowly abandoned small car segments like sedans and hatchbacks for SUVs and pickups. Ford’s F-Series trucks have been the best-selling vehicle in the US for more than 40 years, according to an analysis by S&P Global Mobility.
So EV automakers have little choice but to respond and fill the gap with electric SUVs and trucks.
“It’s no surprise and no coincidence that most of the new models introduced or planned to be introduced in the coming months revolve around this segment, because that’s what we as US consumers want to buy,” EY Americas mobility sector leader Steve Patton said earlier. Business Insider’s Alexa St.
Heavy trucks with Ferrari speed
Larger electric vehicles like the GMC Hummer EV and Ford F-150 Lightning have shown that batteries can add up to two to three tons more weight.
Tesla’s Cybertruck has a curb weight of about 7,000 pounds. Its weight, speed and autopilot capabilities lead one safety expert to describe the truck as a “damn death trap” and a “death machine.”
“Something like the Cybertruck and the F-150 electric, they’re different,” Canadian civil engineering technologist Myles Russell told BI’s Madison Hall. “Now you’re packing Ferrari- and McLaren-level power and even arguably Tesla high-powered cars into the size of a truck.”
Research by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Midwest Highway Safety Institute found that electric vehicles can crash into roadside obstacles with 20-50% more impact energy because they are involved in run-off crashes at the same speed and speed as gasoline vehicles. cars, the university’s newsroom reported.
“There is some urgency to address this issue,” Cody Stolle, assistant director of the Midwest Roadside Safety Facility, told the publication. “As the percentage of EVs on the road increases, so will the rate of off-road crashes involving EVs.”
Spokesmen for GMC, Tesla and Ford did not respond to requests for comment outside of regular business hours.