Saturday, January 28, 2023
News EVs in North America are Heavy and Enormous, but it Needs to...

EVs in North America are Heavy and Enormous, but it Needs to be this Way for Now

EVs are great but the oversized EV trend has many downsides

  • Most of the anticipated EVs in the way are massive trucks that can weigh up to 9,000 lbs.

  • The weight is related to battery size in order to satisfy range demands.

  • These larger vehicles require more raw materials.

North America is obsessed with SUVs and trucks. By definition, these vehicles are massive, heavy, moderately efficient to heavily inefficient. That new electric vehicles continue this trend is to be expected but it doesn’t have to be this way.

2022 Ford F-150 Lightning | Photo: Sami Haj-Assaad
2022 Ford F-150 Lightning | Photo: Sami Haj-Assaad

There are a number of factors that automakers must consider when designing and developing a new vehicle. The first is making sure that it will sell. Two major issues surround the latest crop of gargantuan EVs and they are that they require incredible amounts of resources and, to an extent, can be a safety hazard.

The advantage of most technologies is that, as they evolve, they get smaller. EVs, in North America at least, are headed in the opposite direction, and, for the moment, it’s a necessary stage in the adoption of EVs. Bloomberg (subscription required) surmises that automakers are missing an opportunity to steer consumers towards smaller more efficient vehicles. The problem is that consumers don’t want smaller more efficient vehicles and car companies need to sell vehicles to make money and eventually develop smaller more efficient vehicles.

Rivian R1T yellow
Rivian R1T | Photo: Rivian

Large EVs like the GMC Hummer EV, the Rivian R1T pickup, and the Ford F150 Lightning is that their weight is a by-product of more materials.

“One of the issues we will have in the future is going to be the weight of electrified products, because weight means a lot of raw material resources,” Stellantis NV chief executive Carlos Tavares said.

As far as safety is concerned, there is a growing concern for smaller cars, SUVs, and pedestrians (including children) that, should they get hit by these road behemoths, consequences can be dire.

As the source story says, this is not a jab at EVs. The fact of the matter is that the Ford Lightning is excellent news as consumers were going to buy an F-150 anyhow – it might as well be electric.

At the moment, EVs are in their infancy, at least to the buying public. Before long, more automakers will offer smaller more economical EVs to satisfy demand. As well and in time, much like ICE vehicles, range will become just another specification while energy efficiency will become an important rating. The EPA’s focus on MPGs and L/100km will be replaced by MPkWh (miles per kilowatt-hour) and kWh/100km.

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Matt St-Pierre
Trained as an Automotive Technician, Matt has two decades of automotive journalism under his belt. He’s done TV, radio, print and this thing called the internet. He’s an avid collector of many 4-wheeled things, all of them under 1,500 kg, holds a recently expired racing license and is a father of two. Life is beautiful. Send Matt an emai


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