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December 9, 2022

Heavyweight EVs Forced IIHS To Check Their Equipment

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) is preparing their crash test facilities for the possible mass adoption of electric vehicles (EVs).

Because EVs are heavy (it’s the batteries), the IIHS needed to make sure its evaluation equipment is up to snuff. This pressed the safety institute to replicate the weight of a massive EV using an older vehicle loaded with steel plates and concrete blocks just to see if their tow cable-pully can still propel a 9,500-pound (4,309-kilogram) car up to 40 mph (64.3 km/h) in just 600 feet (182.8 meters).

The IIHS had to check their equipment thanks to the market launch of the Hummer EV which clocks in at a massive 9,063 pounds (4,111 kilograms).

Fortunately for the IIHS, the test was a success and the machine was strong enough to get the heavy vehicles up to 40 mph (64 km/h) and into the crash barrier.

The 9,500-pound dummy vehicle represents the heaviest vehicle crashed by the IIHS at its test facility, beating out the current record holder, the Audi e-Tron (lead photo) which weighed just below 6,000 pounds (2,721 kilograms).

In addition, the IIHS is also adding extra steps to ensure the safety of EVs even after a crash. According to Joe Young, the Media Relations Director of the IIHS said (per Jalopnik):
“We do test with the batteries in place (at a charge of about 12.5 percent), and we closely monitor the battery temperature during and after the crash,” Young said. “We also have some special precautions in place to ensure that the vehicle chassis is not electrified before our technicians start doing post-crash analysis. And there are special precautions in place to move the vehicle outside quickly and safely if there were a problem.”
Thankfully, no battery fires were reported so far in the EVs that the IIHS evaluated.

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