- The IIHS has been crashing vehicles into barricades for decades. So far, the heaviest vehicle the institute has tested was the 6000-pound Audi e-tron.
- With heavy electric vehicles on the road, like the 9640-pound Hummer EV, the IIHS wants to make sure it can manage to get something that heavy up to speed in the crash chamber.
- To that end, an old Ford F-150 was loaded with concrete and steel and successfully demolished. The IIHS, of course, provides video receipts.
After a crash, first responders need to approach electric vehicles differently than internal combustion engine vehicles. But even before a collision occurs, people dealing with crashed cars are changing their approach.
That’s what the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) discovered as it prepared to crash test some incredibly heavy EVs. In a video posted to YouTube, the IIHS explains that it obtained a junked Ford F-150 that could still roll and loaded it until the gross weight reached 9500 pounds. The extreme tests aren’t to see what happens when an old F-150 loaded with concrete blocks and heavy steel plates hits a wall at 40 mph (spoiler alert, it’s not pretty), but to ensure that the IIHS’ test equipment The test can handle, for example, GMC Hummer EVJ In our test Tipped the scales at 9640 pounds. The heaviest vehicle the IIHS has ever tested Audi e-tron Which came to about 6000 pounds.
“With electric vehicles coming in and the weight of the battery pushing the mass of the vehicle more and more, we wanted to know that we could test here,” Raul Arbelaz, vice president of vehicle research at the IIHS, said in the video. “And if we can’t, we need to make some changes to our crash machine.”
The machines use a tow cable attached to a crash machine to bring IIHS vehicles up to speed before hitting an obstacle. The IIHS has a 600-foot runway, but when you’re trying to get nearly five tons of steel and batteries to 40 mph, you need a strong propulsion system. Based on the video IIHS, the system works fine. Stand by for a slow-motion video of a giant, zero-emission beast being ripped apart.
The IIHS has studied the effect of vehicle size and weight for decades. In 2003, automakers entered into a “Compliance Agreement” that they would work to improve the safety of small vehicles when involved in a crash with a larger vehicle, particularly when it comes to front-to-front and front-to-side crashes. The agreement was finally complied with in 2009, and a 2012 paper noted that “car crash partner fatality rates” for SUVs and pickups have decreased, and that deliberate safety efforts in specific areas such as these could lead to “passenger vehicles”. A fleet that is more compliant in a crash.”
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