Electric cars are significantly heavier than conventional cars – does this pose a threat to roads and parking lots?

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Electric cars may look the same as vehicles with an internal combustion engine, but they have one important difference – a heavy battery. The British publication “The Guardian” tried to answer the question, will electric cars cause problems for roads, bridges and parking infrastructure?

Associative image from Pixabay.

Electric cars can be very heavy.

Car Magazine claims that General Motors’ behemoth Hummer “manages to look heavier than it is,” an impressive feat considering it weighs more than four tons.

A third of that amount comes from the battery pack, which gives one of the largest passenger cars on the market a range of more than 300 miles (480 km), writes The Guardian’s Jasper Jolly.

The Tesla Model Y weighs two tons, the Jaguar Land Rover Range Rover weighs 2.5 tons, and newer versions of the Ford F-150 pickup truck, the US bestseller, can weigh up to 2.7 tons, depending on the model.

However, according to estimates by the Brussels-based campaign group Transport&Environment, electric cars are on average 300-400 kg heavier.

About 100kg of battery weight is required for every 150km of range, Lucien Mathieu, the group’s automotive director, told The Guardian.

Heavier cars mean more friction between the tires and the road, and everything under the car is under more stress.

Basically, this means that the knees wear out faster. In 2022, researchers at the University of Edinburgh estimate that battery-powered vehicles can be 20-40 percent. contribute more to road wear than lighter internal combustion engine vehicles. However, the analysis, which did not include any real-world road testing, found that any additional wear and tear “is mainly caused by large vehicles – buses, HGVs”. The impact of cars and motorcycles on road wear is minimal.

Colin Walker, head of transport at the UK’s Energy and Climate Information Unit, told The Guardian that there are very few roads or bridges in the UK where the weight limit does not exceed 7.5 tonnes.

Engineers use “safety factors” when designing structures. The maximum design load is taken and then the structure is constructed to withstand much higher loads to allow some room for “relaxation”. Steel structures for bridges are usually manufactured with a safety factor of five to seven times the intended load, so they have sufficient allowance for 300 extra kilograms.

According to Kelvin Reynolds, Chief Technical Services Manager of the British Parking Association, in theory the increased weight of cars could cause problems in some of the UK’s oldest car parks, writes The Guardian.

He said parking lots built in the last decade would not be a problem because they were built with heavy-duty SUVs in mind, but “older parking lots may have some initial risks that need to be addressed – not that they can’t be addressed, but the fact that it needs to be addressed.”

Owners of multi-storey car parks can undertake building strengthening works, although this can be difficult and expensive. They could also reduce the number of cars allowed on each floor. This could result in lost profits, although the loss would probably be minimal in many car parks, The Guardian points out.


The article is in Lithuanian

Tags: Electric cars significantly heavier conventional cars pose threat roads parking lots

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