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EVs Too Heavy for Road Infrastructure?

ridgebackpilot

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TaxmanHog

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Issues:

Seldom do vehicles broadside the guard rails as shown in the photos, does it happen probably, but more likely they are impacted in a sideswipe movement .

80,000 # tractor trailers

10,000+ # Heavy Duty pickups abound on our roads.
 

TomB985

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I think it's a valid concern, but it's not exclusive to EVs. And Tesla has proven that EVs don't have to be heavier than their ICE counterparts with the 4,400-lb Model Y and 3,800-lb Model 3.

Our trucks are heavy, though. My dad has an identically configured 2023 F150 STX with the 2.7L EcoBoost that weighs only 4,800 lbs. That's almost a ton lighter than my Lightning ER. The longest-range Silverado EV is over 8,500 lbs, which is an absurd amount of weight for a half-ton pickup truck. For comparison, my diesel F250 and F350 were about 8,000 lbs.

ICE cars and trucks have been getting porky as well. A good friend of mine had a 2014 Expedition EL that weighed 6,500 lbs empty. His new 2019 Expy has the new aluminum body and still weighs 5,900 lbs. The hottest-selling vehicles in the U.S. are full-size pickup trucks, so I think we're long overdue for a revision in how we build our infrastructure.
 

Heliian

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I saw this crap a couple weeks ago.

What a waste of time, there is no road barrier that is 100% going to stop anything. They are there to mitigate risk. I won't deny that some road infrastructure is inadequate, but it's inadequate even for a smart car.

It's an ev hit piece, there are many other heavier vehicles out there for the last 100 years. Work pickups and vans for one if you want a similar size comparison.
Buses and box trucks and cube vans and semis just to round it off.

Regular half ton pickups can tow loads over 10k lbs now too!

I bet the testers wanted the battery to explode so they could make a false point again about how ev's driving perpendicularly through a small barrier are the new hazard to our children.

This demonstration could have easily been done with a cement block on rollers if they really wanted to point out the problems with road barriers and heavy vehicles. I'd also like to know if those barriers would stop even 2000lbs at 60mph.

I'd be upset if the university I was attending wasted money on a rivian for this asinine test.
The connection to army research is dubious at best, this was an amateur experiment.
 

Zprime29

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Waste of time, waste of money, nothing of value learned. I've seen guard rails crumpled by every manner of ICE vehicles. Like was already said, they aren't there to stop you. They're there to redirect you.

I lost steering in a 15 passenger van once and veered into a rail. I looked up the spec, it weights almost 6500lbs. There where 7 passengers, so total weight well north of 7000lbs. The guard rail did exactly what it was designed to do. We didn't blow through it, it kept us from veering off a steep hill and we safely came to a stop resting against it. So ya, that test they did in the article was 100% bull doodoo.
 

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ridgebackpilot

ridgebackpilot

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The rants against this study are misplaced.

There's no doubt cars and trucks are getting heavier. As the ranters point out, that's not limited to EVs. But it's a problem for road infrastructure nonetheless.

Rather than ignoring it or trying to discredit these studies, perhaps we should figure out how to strengthen our highway infrastructure to handle heavier vehicles, including EVs?
 

TaxmanHog

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As the ranters point out, that's not limited to EVs. But it's a problem for road infrastructure nonetheless.

I'm all for getting rid of cable slice & dice railings.

Ford F-150 Lightning EVs Too Heavy for Road Infrastructure? 1708114017372
 

Heliian

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Rather than ignoring it or trying to discredit these studies, perhaps we should figure out how to strengthen our highway infrastructure to handle heavier vehicles, including EVs?
Sure, then let's focus on weight and dimensions and leave the vehicle type out of the equation. Crashing a $100k ev perpendicular through an old barrier design at 60mph doesn't seem very productive.
 

Zprime29

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It's easy to discredit a study when it is fundamentally flawed.

This is not much different than pounding a nail into a battery, watching it erupt into flames, and then asserting that batteries aren't safe and need to be redesigned. Yeah we all want batteries that don't catch fire, but that's not the way to go about promoting a healthy discussion.
 

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ridgebackpilot

ridgebackpilot

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It's easy to discredit a study when it is fundamentally flawed.

This is not much different than pounding a nail into a battery, watching it erupt into flames, and then asserting that batteries aren't safe and need to be redesigned. Yeah we all want batteries that don't catch fire, but that's not the way to go about promoting a healthy discussion.
But a healthy discussion is what we're attempting to have here, in between anti-science rants.

It's a real pity it's become accepted practice in this country to attack the methodology behind any study where the findings disagree with our own worldview. But as Neil deGrasse Tyson has said, "The great thing about science is that it's true whether you believe it or not!"

Instead of denying the problem and criticizing the science, perhaps we should focus on figuring out how to strengthen our road infrastructure so that it can handle heavier and heavier vehicles?
 

Zprime29

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But a healthy discussion is what we're attempting to have here, in between anti-science rants.

It's a real pity it's become accepted practice in this country to attack the methodology behind any study where the findings disagree with our own worldview. But as Neil deGrasse Tyson has said, "The great thing about science is that it's true whether you believe it or not!"

Instead of denying the problem and criticizing the science, perhaps we should focus on figuring out how to strengthen our road infrastructure so that it can handle heavier and heavier vehicles?
Methodology is critical to science. It is how we prove or disprove assertions. If the people who conducted that experiment where serious about healthy discussion, they'd have conducted the test to align with those conducted by the Federal Highway Administration as outlined in their document on guard rail safety.
https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/guardrailsafety/guardrail101.pdf

Please note that not a single test in that document was a 90 degree angle test. Therefore, there is no fair conclusion that can be gained by the test with the Rivian. If they'd like to go back and do the test such that a fair comparison can be made, then I'm very interested to see it. Especially the test with the pickup, as that is the exact scenario I encountered and was very thankful for the presence of those rails.
 

Zprime29

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Let's say I made the claim, "flu shots don't prevent measles, therefore we need to make flu shots better." What would your response be?
 

TomB985

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This was a collaborative test between different agencies. The Army Corps Of Engineers was interested in how well these guardrail systems fare against hostile actors. If you’ve ever been to a military or DoD Installation, you’ll see barrier systems of all types at the entry point to prevent people from smashing their way through. Someone trying to ram through a barrier would hit it with a similar 90º angle that this test used.

The Midwest Roadside Safety Facility is where the existing guardrail systems were originally designed. They wanted to know how these systems fared with heavier EVs, so they shared a common interest in partnering for this test.

I don’t think these reserachers are going to care if you like their methodology or think it’s a grand anti-EV conspiracy. They’re using the results to design future barrier systems that will be safer for all of us.

Today's challenge is to again adapt roadside barriers to match the mix of heavier electric vehicles, lighter gasoline vehicles, taller SUVs and pickup trucks and smaller cars. Fulfilling the challenge requires collaboration with diverse backgrounds in defense, transportation, design, and crash safety.

"We can learn a lot from the evaluation of EV response to well-defined barrier systems," Pezzola said. "Through computational modeling and additional tests, we can understand the military and defense implications, with a focus on mitigation and control of hostile vehicles. The overarching goal of this work is to ensure the public's safety and enhance protection of the nation's infrastructure."

UNL's research will contribute to the ERDC's vision through testing, simulation and design. Industry partnerships - including Caresoft Global, which gave UNL researchers access to a critical database on current vehicles, including EVs, and Ansys' LS-DYNA program used with UNL's supercomputer system - will kickstart work on the next generation of roadside safety systems.

"We need to know as much as we can now because it takes time to design new systems, evaluate them and confirm those results with full-scale crash testing," Stolle said. "Then state departments of transportation around the country can begin the process of upgrading roadside barriers to new versions with more robustness.

"We'll use our collective century of experience in roadside safety design to make those changes quickly and save lives."
 

Zprime29

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That quote snippet directly refers to roadside barriers, which have never been assumed to be effective for any vehicle at a 90 degree inclination. I'll retract everything I've said if someone can post information that says otherwise. I tried to find it and failed.
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