Are electric trucks heavier and more dangerous than traditional vans? – Geek Review
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 Nobody Talks About” with some important talking points about electric vehicles. It was well received, but the response I got the most was that the biggest issue was the weight, which made them killing machines.
A prime example is the new GMC Hummer EV, which weighs over 9,000 pounds, which is significantly heavier than the 4,900-pound gas-powered Hummer the company last launched in 2010. It’s big, heavy and, most importantly, extremely fast. This is potentially a big deal and something Bloomberg mentioned earlier this year. So, how dangerous are electric trucks?
Before I start talking about electric vehicles, I wanted to briefly mention that the roads in the United States are already dangerous. Pedestrian fatalities and fatalities have been increasing every year for more than a decade, so this is not a new problem.
Moreover, the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) recently confirmed that in the first half of 2021, pedestrian fatalities increased by 17%. That’s over 500 more lives lost compared to 2020 and an absolutely appalling statistic.
Nor does it come from electric vehicles. It comes from dangerous drivers in big American trucks and SUVs, and those vehicles keep getting bigger. Trucks are the top-selling vehicles in the United States, and that won’t change anytime soon. They are also harder to drive, don’t stop as quickly as cars, and have large blind spots in front of overly large hoods.
And sadly, they’re all about to get bigger and faster with increasing electrification. It’s a recipe for disaster.
After some quick research, most electric vehicles currently available or to come weigh less than 5,000 pounds. And while it’s 10-30 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 petrol version, but the change is not particularly dangerous. This is because manufacturers have equipped them with safe driving technology, improved braking, collision avoidance, and many stop faster than gas-powered 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 pounds, while the average regular F-150 weighs around 4,700 pounds. Look at the difference? Ford’s new electric truck is incredibly fast while being much heavier.
Every car on the market can exceed legal speed limits, but few have the quick acceleration of an electric vehicle, especially when they’re the size of a truck. These things are fast.
Here’s what some electric vehicles and their petrol equivalents weigh:
- Regular Ford F-150 4×4 – 5,000 pounds
- Ford F-150 Lightning (standard line) – 6,171 lbs.
- Ford F-150 Lightning (extended range) – 6,590 pounds
- Tesla Model 3 – 3,900 pounds
- Hyundia IONIQ 5 – 4,400 lbs.
- Rivian R1T truck – 6,700 pounds
- Silverado E – unknown (likely over 7,500 lbs)
- GMC Hummer electric – 9,046 pounds
- 2018 F-350 Dual (Diesel) – 8,060 lbs
I threw the latter in the list just for reference. Heavy duty trucks are nothing new, especially considering some of the old metal heavy duty trucks from decades ago. So while the weight of electric trucks is a concern, perhaps the bigger 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 100 km/h in just 3 seconds? It’s how fast the 9,000 lb GMC Hummer EV accelerates, and it’s terrifying.
From everything we’ve seen so far, electric cars and trucks are pretty safe, as long as you’re driving. Every car maker these days adds all kinds of cameras, sensors, safe driving technologies, lane assist, collision avoidance, regenerative braking that slows cars down faster, and I could go on and on and Again.
Electric vehicles have a low center of gravity, all the weight of the battery cells is down, making them less likely to roll, and they are heavier than most vehicles on the road. As a result, you will be safer in an electric vehicle than a traditional small car in an accident.
According to Insurance Institute for Road Safety (IIHS), electric vehicles are quite safe and potentially safer than gasoline-powered vehicles. In addition, a recent study by The NHTSA concluded that the likelihood of passengers being injured in an accident inside an electric vehicle is actually lower than in gasoline vehicles.
It’s easy to see why many people are concerned about big, fast electric trucks. They’re bigger than anything else on the road, heavier, and can accelerate to speeds once reserved for expensive limited-release sports cars.
That said, vehicles have always come in fast variants, heavy cars are already everywhere on the road today, and there will always be reckless drivers on the streets. The problem, however, is the fact that electric vehicles combine most of these into one vehicle. Just because manufacturers can get a truck to do 0-60 in three seconds doesn’t mean they should. Do we really need to go so fast? No, no, we don’t.
It all comes down to humans eventually driving too fast in huge trucks that are about to take over the streets and highways. Several exciting electric trucks are available now or will be available soon, including the Hummer EV, Rivian R1T, F-150 Lightning, Silverado EV, RAM 1500 EV, and more.
We don’t know what the future holds, but it could be a big deal in the future. Over the next 2-3 years, we’ll likely see thousands, if not millions, of massive 6,500-pound electric trucks and SUVs on the roads.
How this translates into traffic accidents and fatalities is something we will have to watch and consider. This goes for everyone, from consumers and lawmakers to manufacturers like GM, Tesla and Ford.