Analysis within the journal Nature finds electric vehicles’ excessive weight relative to gas-powered fashions creates safety dangers that may be addressed by way of design and coverage adjustments.
The large image: EVs are heavy because of battery weights and heavier gear to supply “vital structural assist.” That’s an issue as a result of heavier vehicles imply extra deaths in accidents.
Threat degree: This erodes the advantages of climate-friendly transport.
- The authors — whereas warning this can be a back-of-the-envelope tally — say the price of additional lives misplaced by including 1,500 kilos to a truck “rivals the local weather advantages” of prevented emissions.
- Heavier vehicles additionally create air pollution from put on on tires and require extra supplies and power to construct and propel.
What’s subsequent: They suggest setting car registration fees based mostly on weight to encourage using lighter vehicles.
- Another concept is focusing extra on chopping battery weight, not simply at the moment’s emphasis on vary extension. One particular suggestion: altering EV subsidies to make them based mostly on storage per unit of weight to incentivize lighter batteries.
- Other suggestions are round methods to lighten car frames; expertise and street-design adjustments to cut back accidents; and insurance policies that encourage strolling, biking and public transit.
The backside line: EVs are “important for decarbonizing transport” and “a deal with driving lighter, safer, cleaner and fewer can guarantee a greater future for everybody.”