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Are electric trucks heavier and more dangerous than traditional vans? – Geeky Review


GMC

The auto industry is going green by building electric vehicles, but many fear the switch to electric vehicles will make the roads more dangerous than ever. Electric trucks are heavy and could be more dangerous than traditional trucks.

I recently wrote an article titled “The Electric Truck Problem No One Is Talking About,” with some important talking points about electric vehicles. It was well received, but the answer I got the most was that the biggest problem is the weight, which makes them rolling killing machines.

A prime example is the new GMC Hummer EV, which clocks in at more than 9,000 lbs., which is substantially heavier than the 4,900 lb. gas-powered Hummer the company last released in 2010. It’s big, heavy, and what’s more. important, extremely fast. It’s potentially a big deal and something that Bloomberg mentioned earlier this year. So how dangerous are electric trucks?

The roads are already unsafe

Do not walk on the street sign in New York City
MNStudio / Shutterstock.com

Before I start talking about electric vehicles, I’d like to briefly mention that the roads in the US are no longer safe. Pedestrian fatalities and fatal accidents have been increasing every year for more than a decade, so this is not a new problem.

In addition, the Highway Safety Governors Association (GHSA) recently confirmed that in the first half of 2021, pedestrian fatalities increased by 17%. That’s over 500 lives lost compared to 2020 and an absolutely terrible stat.

That’s not about electric vehicles either. That’s from unsafe drivers in large American trucks and SUVs, and those vehicles continue to grow. Trucks are the best-selling vehicles in the US, which won’t change anytime soon. They are also more difficult to drive, don’t stop as quickly as cars, and have large blind spots in front of oversized hoods.

And unfortunately, they’re all about to get bigger and faster with the rise of electrification. It is a recipe for disaster.

How much do electric vehicles weigh?

Ford F-150 Lightning EV
Ford

After some quick research, most current electric vehicles available now or soon weigh less than 5,000 pounds. And while that’s 10 to 30 percent heavier than its gas-powered counterparts, it’s still less than your typical gas-powered F-150 or Chevy Silverado.

I’m talking about the Mustang Mach-E, the Audi e-Tron or even the new Hyundai IONIQ 5. These electric cars weigh more than a gasoline version, but the change is not particularly dangerous. This is because manufacturers have equipped them with safe driving technology, enhanced braking, collision avoidance, and many stop faster than gasoline vehicles.

Electric cars are not the problem. Fast electric trucks are the problem. For example, the new Ford F-150 Lightning EV weighs nearly 6,600 lbs., while the average regular F-150 weighs about 4,700 lbs. See the difference? Ford’s new electric pickup truck is incredibly fast and at the same time substantially heavier.

Here’s what some electric vehicles and their gasoline equivalents weigh:

  • Ford F-150 Regular 4×4 – 5,000 pounds
  • Ford F-150 Lightning (Standard Range) – 6,171 lbs
  • Ford F-150 Lightning (extended range) – 6,590 pounds
  • Tesla Model 3 – £3,900
  • Hyundai IONIQ 5 – 4,400 lbs.
  • Rivian R1T Truck – 6,700 pounds
  • Silverado E – unknown (probably over 7500 lbs)
  • GMC Hummer Electric – 9,046 pounds
  • 2018 F-350 Dual (Diesel) – 8,060 lbs.

I dropped that last one on the list just for reference. Heavy trucks are nothing new, especially when you consider some of the old heavy metal trucks from several decades ago. So while the weight of electric trucks is a concern, perhaps the biggest issue is the quest to make them as fast as possible.

Can you imagine a huge F-350 Super Duty XLT Dually going from 0 to 60 mph in just 3 seconds? That’s how fast the 9,000-pound GMC Hummer EV goes, and it’s terrifying.

Electric trucks are safe for the driver

Rivian R1T Electric Truck
Rivian

From everything we’ve seen so far, electric cars and trucks are pretty safe, as long as you’re the one driving. Every car manufacturer these days is adding all sorts of cameras, sensors, safe driving tech, lane assist, collision avoidance, regenerative braking that makes cars slow down faster, and I could go on and on.

Electric vehicles have a low center of gravity, all the weight of the battery cells is on the bottom, making them less likely to roll, and they are heavier than most vehicles on the road . As a result, you’ll be safer in an EV than in a traditional small car during an accident.

According to the Insurance Institute for Road Safety (IIHS), electric vehicles are quite safe and potentially safer than gasoline vehicles. Additionally, a recent NHTSA study concluded that the likelihood of passengers being injured in an accident while inside an EV is actually lower than in gasoline vehicles.

Speed ​​(and humans) are the real threat

Hummer EV in the mountains
GMC

It’s easy to see why many people are worried about big, fast electric trucks. They’re bigger than anything else on the road, heavier, and can accelerate to speeds previously reserved for expensive, limited-release sports cars.

With that being said, vehicles have always come in fast variants, heavy cars are already everywhere nowadays and there will always be reckless drivers on the streets. The problem, however, is the fact that electric vehicles combine most of them into a single vehicle. Just because manufacturers can make a truck do 0-60 in three seconds doesn’t mean they should. Do we really need to go that fast? No, no, we don’t.

It all boils down to humans finally driving too fast in huge trucks that are about to take over the streets and highways. Several exciting electric trucks are available now or soon, including the Hummer EV, Rivian R1T, F-150 Lightning, Silverado EV, RAM 1500 EV and more.

We’re not sure what the future holds, but this could be a big deal down the road. Within the next 2-3 years, we’re likely to see thousands, if not millions, of massive 6,500-pound electric trucks and SUVs on the roads.

How that translates into traffic accidents and fatalities is something that we will need to monitor and consider. That applies to everyone, from consumers and lawmakers to manufacturers like GM, Tesla and Ford.

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