How EVs Kill

  • July 16, 2023

Most people have heard about the EV fire problem – i.e., the built-in (literally) possibility of a catastrophic fire igniting without a spark, even if the EV is parked. Not many people know about the EV weight problem.

Which is also a safety problem in that people who do not drive EVs are more likely to be hurt – and hurt more seriously – if their non-EV is hit by one.

That’s because even compact-sized  EVs like the Nissan Leaf – which weighs 3,509 lbs. – are heavier than mid-sized non-electric cars like the Toyota Camry (which weighs 3,310 lbs.).

EV trucks and SUVs weigh as much as the heaviest-duty/almost commercial-sized trucks.

The Ford F1-50 Lightning, for instance, weighs in excess of 6,000 lbs. That is more than three tons. If you are driving a Honda Civic that weighs less than 3,000 lbs. and are struck broadside by a Lightning doing 45 through a red light, the number of air bags you have in the Civic won’t matter much – because there won’t be much left of the Civic.

Or – probably – you.

The typical EV is about 800-1,000 pounds heavier than an otherwise same-sized/generally similar vehicle. For example, the ’23 Mercedes EQE SUV I will be test driving next week weighs 5,300 lbs. A non-electric equivalent of this mid-sized SUV – such as the GLE 450 I tested a few weeks ago – weighs 4,608 lbs. The larger the EV, the heavier it is, because it needs a bigger (and so, heavier) battery to move its weight. That’s why the Ford Lightning weighs almost a ton more than a non-electric F-150.

So, one of the side effects of pushing EVs into general circulation is an increase in the number of very heavy vehicles in circulation – increasing the risk to those who aren’t driving them.

The insurance mafia (via the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety) has noted the fact – without noting what is making the problem worse. It warns about the potential threat “large or very large” pick-up trucks and SUVs present to drivers (and passengers) of smaller and lighter vehicles – but says nothing about the even greater threat to the latter presented by much heavier EV pick-up trucks such as the 6,000-plus pound Lightning . . . or the 7,000-plus pound Rivian RIT.

Predictably, the government that is sometimes “concerned” about our “safety” is silent about this growing threat to our safety. Perhaps because it is the government that is chiefly responsible for this threat to our safety. Six-ton-plus half-ton trucks are not a natural development. They are the result of the government decreeing that battery power must replace gasoline power and the only way to keep a half-ton truck rolling with batteries is by using extremely large and heavy ones.

This column has previously mentioned the fact that a gallon of gas weighs about six pounds. A full-size half-ton non-electric truck such as the Ford F-150 has a tank capacity of 26 gallons. That means a full tank weighs about 160 pounds. The “electrified” version of the F-150 – the Lightning – carries around a battery pack that weighs 1,800 pounds.

This is why the Lightning is a three-ton half-ton truck.

Interestingly, the Lightning would be even heavier than it already is in order to have a range comparable to its gas-powered sibling, which can take you more than 600 highway miles (and more than 400 city miles) on those 26 gallons – and about 156 pounds-  of gas. The Lightning only goes about half as far – in part because it is lugging around about 16 times as much “fuel.”

In air fingers quotes because it’s actually worse than that. The EV’s” fuel” is electricity – which weighs essentially nothing. But the battery that stores it is another matter. To store the energy equivalent of 26 gallons of gas would probably require a 3,000 pound battery pack.

And it never gets lighter, either.

Even when it is “empty.”

One might call this wasteful.

It is certainly dangerous . . . to other drivers, who might be crushed by all that weight.

The government is silent.

As it has been silent about the EV immolation threat, which is more threatening than the threat of a gasoline fire in a non-electric car because EV fires don’t require a spark.

They are also more likely to happen  – because whether an EV is hit from behind or broadside or runs into something, the battery will be hit – because it is typically spread out over the floorpan of the vehicle. Gas tanks are located in the vehicle’s rear, usually – and so are less vulnerable to impact damage from a frontal or side-impact collision. And even if the tank is damaged – even if the gas spills out – it still requires a spark to ignite the gas and start a fire.

Which can be quickly put out with water.

EV fires are much easier to start – and you don’t even need to have an accident first. They are much harder to put out and they can start again, after they have been put out.

Gas tanks do not become more fire-prone as they age. Batteries do. “Hard use” does not apply to gas tanks; it does to EV battery packs.

Never mind all of that – or all of that weight.

The government is “keeping you safe” – and the insurance mafia doesn’t want you to know that government is making it more likely you’ll be burned (or crushed) to death. Or that we’ll all be paying more for the “coverage” we’re forced by the government to buy – on account of increased payouts/losses caused by dangerously heavy, fire-prone EVs. Just the same as we’re all paying more to “cover” the cost of air bag-equipped cars, which are much more expensive to fix and often just thrown away because it’s too expensive to fix them.

. . .

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