IIHS Explains Heavy EVs Are Putting Extra Pressure On Its Crash Testing Equipment

Electric vehicles are redefining car safety as they have several key differences that mean they have to be treated differently in the event of a crash. Their battery pack catching fire is the prime concern, because it’s then very hard to put out as it will keep reigniting, but also EVs’ extra weight, which not only negatively affects their handling and braking, but it also apparently makes it harder for these vehicles to be crash tested.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) recently published a video explaining the struggle it is anticipating it will encounter testing EVs. The problem here is their increased mass, which is putting extra pressure on the institute’s crash testing equipment, so much so that it decided to simulate the testing of even heavier vehicles in order to see if anything breaks.

They believe that vehicles weighing 9,500 pounds or more may put their equipment to the test, so they stuffed a Ford F-150 pickup (and others, including SUVs) with concrete to get the weight up to the desired level and then proceeded to crash them in order to see what happens. And in case you were wondering which vehicles weighs that much, well, it’s the GMC Hummer EV, which is so heavy that you need a special license if you wanted to drive one in Europe.

One of the problems they thought they could face was not being able to pull the vehicle towards the concrete barrier at the correct speed. The machine needed to be able to keep the vehicle traveling at 40 mph, which it did, and you can really see the forces at work here when it does slam into the barrier and the block of concrete from the bed ends up pressed against the dashboard…

The takeaway from this is that making vehicles really heavy only has downsides – it dulls handling, makes brakes less effective, it lowers efficiency and performance, on top increasing the likelihood of pulverizing whatever you crash into. The difference between the footage showing loaded and unloaded vehicles is quite startling and it also shows why you should never overload your vehicle either.

Source: IIHS / YouTube

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