“Even a broken clock is right twice a day.”

That phrase seems fitting, because the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) actually said something rational & worth a damn. Normally, these are the people who try to take your freedoms away 1-by-1, while saying it’s “for your safety”… while simultaneously causing more complications & costs to be legislated into new vehicles. Take speed limiters on all new cars, for example. They say they’re saving lives, but really, they’re just creating incapable drivers who are completely dependent on technology to keep them between the ditches. That’s not how you save lives. But anyway – this time – the NTSB genuinely surprised us with some common sense logic. Fair is fair. 

In a recent meeting in DC… 

The NTSB brought up their growing safety concerns over the weight of electric vehicles. Here’s the issue: EVs weigh substantially more than similarly-sized internal combustion vehicles. In order to get the impressive range that Americans want, the batteries have to be big. And EV batteries… are heavy. 

For example, the Rivian R1T weighs over 7,000lbs. The R1T is roughly the size of a Toyota Tacoma. But to put it in perspective, it weighs as much as a decked-out RAM 2500 6.7-liter diesel crew-cab 4WD. GMC’s Hummer EV weighs-in at 9,000lbs! It’s battery alone weighs more than a lot of cars on the road. So what do you think happens when a 9,000lb Hummer or a 7,000 Rivian rear-ends a… little red Ford Fiesta ST for example? It punts it to the moon… and likely vaporizes anything inside of it. 

A complimentary concern of weight… is momentum. 

EVs are fast, and they make instant torque. Basically they’re like shooting an elephant out of a cannon. At least a good-sized rhino. And our drivers tests are NOT good. EVs are gaining popularity, and the people buying them usually do not possess the driver skill/experience to meet that kind of performance. Forklift certification = zero. 

Electric vehicles are becoming more common in metropolitan/congested areas. You know – the kinds of places with traffic. And the kinds of places that have people crossing the street at crosswalks looking down at their screens… while EVs drivers approach the crosswalk in silent vehicles ALSO looking down at their screens.

A lot of EVs have questionable self-driving features. Which to be fair, are probably still better than the people driving them. It all seems like a perfect recipe for fatalities & sad 1st-responders. And I’m relieved that the NTSB is acknowledging the issue. Now – let’s just hope the NTSB doesn’t lobby to ‘fix’  these issues with even more dumb tech bandages. And let’s hope they make some common sense efforts to get to the actual root of the problem. In the meantime – drive defensively, watch your mirrors, and pay attention to the body language of EVs around you on the roadways. 


S3 Magazine