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Electric Vehicles Are Bringing Out the Worst in Us

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American auto industry executives continue to insist there is no trade-off between saving the planet and having a good time behind the wheel. “What I am particularly happy about,” said Ford executive his chair Bill He Ford. Said When he unveiled his company’s new electric truck in April, he said, “This isn’t just a green F-150, it’s a better F-150. You’re really getting something the internal combustion engine doesn’t have. General Motors CEO Mary Barra said: sounded equally bullish A recent social media post said: [electric vehicle] It has to offer everything: torque, handling, performance and features. “

The pitch is attractive, but it raises some questions. Is an electric F-150 Lightning ‘better’ than his conventional F-150? A road safety crisis? And how will electric vehicle drivers use the extra power given to them by companies?

Converting transportation systems from fossil fuels to electricity is essential to addressing climate change. But the automaker’s focus on his big, battery-powered SUVs and trucks has bolstered the U.S.’s destructive desire to drive something bigger, faster, and heavier than everyone else.

In many ways, EVs reflect longstanding weaknesses in American automobile design and regulation.For decades, the automotive industry has Loopholes in Federal Fuel Efficiency Regulations Replace sedans with more profitable SUVs and trucks. 4 out of 5 new cars Sold in the USA.

On the other hand, SUVs and trucks myself getting bigger; their Weight increased by 7% and 32%, respectively, from 1990 to 2021. For example, the 2023 Ford F-150 with a conventional engine is up to 7 inches taller and weighs 800 pounds more. Its 1991 counterpartEvery time you buy a large truck or SUV, you encourage others to buy it too to avoid being at a disadvantage in a crash or trying to see other cars on the highway.

With the shift to ever-larger trucks and SUVs, risked everyone not in one, especially those not protected by large amounts of metal.Recent study We linked the growing popularity of SUVs in the US with the soaring number of pedestrian deaths. 2021 will be the highest price in 40 yearsA particular problem is the height expansion of these vehicles. blind spotIn one segment this summer, washington dc tv news channel Nine children sat in a row in front of the SUV. The driver could not see any of them, as he could not see anything within 16 feet from the front of the vehicle.

Few car shoppers seem to care. for decades, Americans show little trend Consider how your vehicle affects the safety of pedestrians, cyclists, or other drivers. (The federal government seems equally indifferent. National Crash Test Evaluation Program Evaluate risk to vehicle occupants only. )

They’re about the same size as gas-hungry SUVs and trucks, but their electric versions are even heavier with the addition of giant batteries.For example, the upcoming Chevrolet Silverado EV weighs about 8,000 pounds, 3,000 or more than the current petrol-powered version. And there are a lot of these huge ones: Recent U.S. Department of Energy Study Automakers are showing a rapid shift in EV lineups from sedans to SUVs and trucks, as they did with gasoline vehicles before.

Considering the unprecedented power of EVs, the danger is even greater. “This sucker is fast!” President Joe Biden Shouted out After test driving the Ford F-150 Lightning last year.He Was Right: Trucks Can Go From 0 to 60 MPH 4 seconds,about per second than the petrol-powered F-150.

Car buyers are both car salesmen and car journalists Tom McCahill started measuring them After World War II. However, this metric is dangerously unsuitable for high-speed propulsion in electric powertrains. more efficient Fewer parts than a gas engine. For example, the Tesla Plaid Model S can reach 60 mph. 1.99 secondsa new record for a production car, porsche 911 (2.8 seconds).

At the risk of stating the obvious, such blistering acceleration serves no practical purpose on public roads where it could endanger everyone’s safety. in Europe, auto insurance company These days, the high pick-up speed of EVs is leading to an increase in crashes. Again, the most vulnerable street users bear certain risks: A 2018 Research by the Road Safety Insurance Association They found that hybrid vehicles, such as EVs, which can accelerate faster than gasoline vehicles, are 10% more likely to injure pedestrians than comparable gasoline vehicles. Ultra-fast acceleration also reduces the efficiency of electric batteries. reduce its rangeNonetheless, the car company is still optimistic about the Chevy Blazer’swide open watts mode

As automakers design faster and bigger cars, they are wasting opportunities to make EVs safer than their predecessors. Without a petrol engine under the hood, the Ford F-150 Lightning could have had a sloping front end, which would have made it less dangerous to others in a crash. Instead, Ford kept the tall bonnet of his F-150, declaring the empty space underneath “flanks.” That decision missed a road safety opportunity, but it makes sense when viewed through a business lens. Few truck buyers are looking for a model that protects people outside the vehicle.

In fact, automakers might argue that their EV designs and marketing pitches simply reflect the size and speed Americans want when considering their next car. Some might argue that the more consumers view EVs as objects of desire rather than as obligatory concessions to the cause, the faster electrification of American vehicles will go. But these claims treat car demand as a constant and overlook how automakers’ multi-billion dollar advertising budgets shape consumer tastes. Why should consumer preferences trump the deadly risks posed by unnecessarily fast and heavy EVs, anyway?

While the safety of other road users won’t drive many EV buying decisions, shoppers are more likely to care about another social impact: mitigating climate change.Percentage of gasoline cars and trucks about one-fifth Despite America’s small greenhouse gas emissions, today’s automakers are enthusiastic about adopting green halos.Ford vowed to be carbon neutral (although in thirty years from now on), the GM said, “zero emissions” is at the center of our corporate mission.

Because electric cars do not emit exhaust fumes, they are less polluting than otherwise identical gasoline cars. Especially from the power needed to build EVs and charge their batteries. Such energy demands increase dramatically in heavy-duty vehicles. According to the US Energy Efficiency Economy Councilthe 9,063-pound GMC Hummer EV emits more emissions per mile than the gasoline-powered Chevrolet Malibu.

To make matters worse, giant electric vehicles are exacerbating global shortages of essential battery minerals such as: cobalt, lithium, nickelThe weight of that Hummer EV battery About a Honda Civicconsume potentially valuable materials Already used Build a few electric sedan batteries or hundreds of electric bicycle batteries.one Recent research We found that electrified SUVs can actually increase emissions by limiting the batteries available for small electric vehicles.

That reality is inconvenient not only for size-conscious automakers, but also for certain image-conscious EV buyers. onion Skewered Because he believes that “driving a car can make up for all the bad things he’s done in his life” (perhaps drape the charging cord cross the pavement).

Even a modestly sized electric car is not a climate panacea. 2020 research University of Toronto researchers find car electrification will not limit global temperature rise to 2°C by 2100 without a concurrent shift to cleaner modes of transportation such as public transit and cycling Did. Recognizing the need, Norway, Global Prominence in Electric Vehicle Adoptionteeth Exchange EV subsidies to support walking and biking. automobile weight tax To keep buyers away from the bulkiest electric vehicles.a recent articles of Nature approved such a weight-based EV fee.

The United States is not so far-sighted.The anti-inflation bill Biden signed into law in August includes up to $7,500 Purchasing an electric vehicle priced under $55,000. As an implicit incentive to buy a larger vehicle, a qualifying SUV could cost as much as $88,000 and still be eligible.What the New Law Offers none For buyers of e-bikes, e-cargo bikes, or e-golf carts. Percentage of emissions of electric vehicles while posing far less danger to road users. Americans need little encouragement to buy SUVs and trucks. What countries need is a policy that will push them towards vehicles that are less dangerous to the planet and other travelers. Instead of leveraging electrification in that way, policymakers are further codifying the advantage of the biggest and most dangerous cars.

Automotive executives with supercharged electric giants acting on America’s worst instincts are sure to appreciate it. But the rest of us shouldn’t.

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