Electric cars, SUVs and pickup trucks have become extremely popular in Georgia and around the country because they are inexpensive to run and kind to the environment, but are they as safe as vehicles with internal combustion engines? The lithium-ion batteries that power electric vehicles can catch fire in a crash, and these fires can spontaneously reignite after hours or even days have passed. However, it is the extra weight those batteries add that is causing road safety experts the most worry.
Newton’s second law of motion states that force is equal to mass times acceleration. This means that a heavy object traveling at a slow speed has the same force as a light object traveling at a high speed. When a heavy object like a GMC Hummer EV that weighs almost five tons travels at a high speed, any car accident it is involved in is likely to be catastrophic.
Electric vehicles are fast as well as heavy. The GMC Hummer EV can reach 60 mph in about three seconds despite its enormous weight, and it is not considered to be especially fast for an electric SUV. Vehicles like the GMC Hummer EV, the Rivian R1T pickup truck and Kia EV6 SUV are also extremely quiet and comfortable, which means their drivers could easily lose track of how fast they are moving.
A danger to road users
Electric vehicles are very fast and very heavy, which means they pose a threat to all road users. The most sought-after electric vehicles are full-sized pickup trucks and SUVs with large blind spots, which make them even more dangerous. Until scientists develop battery technology that reduces the weight of electric vehicles, these dangers will persist because consumers are unlikely to demand slower and lighter cars, pickup trucks and SUVs just to make the roads safer for others.