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NTSB Chair Concerned About Safety Impact Of EVs

As Ford invests $50 billion with a goal of producing two million EVs annually by 2026 and eventually transitioning its entire lineup to all-electric vehicles, there are undoubtedly numerous obstacles to overcome, as is also the case for the federal fleet and its mission to go all-electric in the coming years. Aside from things like range anxiety, charging infrastructure, and rising materials costs, it seems as if there’s also a safety impact to consider as EVs get bigger and heavier, according to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).

“I’m concerned about the increased risk of severe injury and death for all road users from heavier curb weights and increasing size, power, and performance of vehicles on our roads, including electric vehicles,” NTSB Chair Jennifer Homendy said in a a keynote speech during the Transportation Research Board’s annual meeting.  “A GMC Hummer EV weighs over 9,000 pounds, up from about 6,000 pounds. Its gross vehicle weight rating is a staggering 10,550 pounds. The battery pack alone weighs over 2,900 pounds – about the weight of a Honda Civic. The Ford F-150 Lightning is between 2,000 and 3,000 pounds heavier than the non-electric version. The Ford Mustang Mach-E, Volvo XC40 EV, and RAV4 EV are all roughly 33 percent heavier. That has a significant impact on safety for all road users.”

“Now I want to be clear – I am inspired by the Administration’s commitment to phasing out carbon emissions,” Homendy added. “We do have a climate crisis that needs to be addressed. The U.S. transportation sector accounts for the largest portion of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, and I firmly believe it is a human right to breathe clean air. But we have to be careful that we aren’t also creating unintended consequences – more death on our roads.”

Indeed, the EVs mentioned by Homendy are considerably heavier than their ICE counterparts, including the F-150 Lightning, which reportedly tips the scales at around 6,500 pounds, with a battery pack compensating for roughly 1,800 pounds of that mass. Meanwhile, the Mustang Mach-E starts out at 4,394 pounds and goes up from there, depending on spec, while the E-Transit weighs around 600 pounds more than its ICE counterpart, mostly because of its battery pack.

We’ll have more on the impact of EVs on road safety soon, so be sure and subscribe to Ford Authority for 24/7 Ford news coverage.

Brett's lost track of all the Fords he's owned over the years and how much he's spent modifying them, but his current money pits include an S550 Mustang and 13th gen F-150.

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Comments

  1. David Dickinson II

    Road safety and the roads themselves. More weight is more wear and tear. One more uncalculated cost of EVs the eco-zealots want us to ignore. Is there a bigger oxymoron that heavy “green” vehicles? If the point is to be truly eco-friendly, then they should have been designed to be lighter. However, I think the federal government itself is the core problem again. Heavy vehicles get tax credits that light vehicles do not get. Nobody ever accused the government of being too smart. They incentivized heavy vehicles through the tax code.

    Reply
    1. Anonymous

      Drivers of EVs are also not paying fuel taxes which are intended to be used to maintain the roads. Their vehicles are imparting more wear and tear on the roads and they are not paying to help maintain those roads. The government now wants to implement VMT taxes at both the federal and state levels to address this. They claim VMT will eventually replace fuel taxes, but we all know that won’t be the case. Those of us still driving ICE vehicles will end up paying fuel taxes and VMT taxes.

      Reply
  2. Sam

    EVs are considerably heavier than ICE vehicles, not just a little heavier. They have worse stopping, worse cornering, wear out tires faster, wear out road surfaces quicker. Not a surprise they are failing.

    Reply
  3. ShaneW

    EVs are death-makers with all that weight. They need to ban them for child safety.

    Reply
  4. JeffinTheDesert

    This whole EV shift is frustrating. The nationwide electrical grid couldn’t handle it. Remember Cali this last summer? We could do Plug in Hybrids. For instance the new postal vehicle could be electric/gasoline with a 20-30 HP motor supporting electrical and climate control.

    Reply
  5. Dr David

    Jeffin hits it out of the park on the electrical grid.

    Does anyone have any data on the increased cost of our electric bills with all of the additional fossil fuel plants, and the additional use of fossil fuels that will be needed to meet the EV demand in 2030? Our state generates most of its electricity from fossil fuels — mainly natural gas which supplies almost 35% of US electricity. With the current government-mandated supply-side energy-driven inflation consumer electric bills have already greatly increased here. This is really hurting middle-class and low-income people. The current government wants to increase cost of fossil fuels quite a bit more to make EVs more competitive cost wise.

    Others want the government to shut down all of the fossil fuel electric plants and replace them with solar power and windmills. I have read it will cost about the same as the current national debt to do this. Any studies out there of how much this will increase our electric bills?

    And speaking of more transportation deaths either of these plans will result in many more deaths with the increased need to transport goods and equipment to meet these EV electricity needs — especially given the government is shutting down pipelines which is the safest way to transport fossil fuels.

    Reply
  6. Jon in San Diego

    Nothing triggers so many like an article about EVs. The fear, the misinformation, the ignorance, the lies, the hate. So revealing, so typical with any/all new technology, so predictable, and ultimately, easily ignored.

    Reply
  7. Dr David

    Since you posted this you must not think the concerns are so “easily ignored” as you stated.

    Unfortunately, you added nothing to the discussion except insults for people (including the NTSB chair) who have reservations for these products for various reasons. Reminds one of an old saying of Socrates!

    FYI this is not new technology. Electric cars using batteries were first introduced in the USA in the 1890’s. Earlier in Europe. They never became mainstream for many of the same reasons people cite today.

    Right now they are still vehicles for a niche market and should not be forced on people who don’t want them. Correct their concerns, especially total costs, and maybe they will accept them. Maybe not.

    In our area a lot of us have street-legal electric golf carts and owning one reinforces why gasoline cars are superior for all but local travel.

    Reply

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