This article originally appeared on The Drive.
One of the most satisfying sensations in an electric vehicle is the instant torque. We car lovers crave the feeling of being pressed into our seats, and while a high-powered internal combustion car gives that feeling, so does a hyper-efficient EV.
The instantaneous torque can also translate into very quick acceleration. In fact, we’re seeing battery-powered vehicles achieve supercar-level 0-60 MPH runs despite tipping the scales two to three times more than gasoline-powered exotics. While this can be fun for the driver and vehicle occupants, it’s becoming increasingly clear that these inflated electric vehicles could easily pose a hazard to other cars and pedestrians on the road, and there are still no regulators that have come forward to address. these problems.
The 2022 Hummer EV’s electric motors make 1,000 horsepower and 1,200 pound-feet of torque, enough power to propel the 9,100-pound vehicle from zero to 60 MPH in just three seconds. Consequently, a Lamborghini Aventador LP 780-4 Ultimae takes around 2.8 seconds with just over a third of the weight. In any case, that’s a lot of speed very quickly, but in a crash, the Hummer generates more than 2.5 times the force at 60 MPH than the Aventador.
It’s hard to say how often supercar owners crash their vehicles. According to automotive news, safety officials do not have data for supercar crashes, but information is available for performance motorcycles. In fact, most sportbike crashes occur within the first 120 days of purchase. Perhaps there is some correlation with the amount of news that shows new owners running into performance cars within hours or days of buying them.
A good example is YouTuber Edmond Mondi. Several weeks ago, Mondi posted a video on Instagram showing the supercar-like acceleration of the Hummer EV from a standstill. The video generated a bit of controversy since it was filmed from the driver’s seat as the Hummer hurtled into several lanes of cars in stopped traffic. Weeks later, we reported that Mondi destroyed his Hummer EV just hours after picking it up from the dealership, as revealed in a YouTube video posted later.
With quick acceleration and massive weight, it’s pretty obvious that there will be crashes from drivers, likely both new and experienced. How deadly those crashes will be is something researchers will need to collect data to determine.
A study by the National Bureau of Economic Research found that dying in a car accident has about a 1 in 500 chance. The same study found that being in an accident with a vehicle 1,000 pounds heavier than yours increases your risk of initial fatality by 47%. It’s not immediately clear how this scales with the weights of modern battery-electric vehicles (for example, a 3,300-pound Toyota Camry involved in an accident with a Hummer EV, a 5,800-pound difference).
Realistically, it’s hard to imagine a solution to what is potentially a public safety problem except for regulation. Sure, automakers can offer in-car warnings or geofence speed and performance to racetracks or certain designated zones (like the late-2000s Japanese-market Nissan GT-R), but hackers they will no doubt treat it as a game of cat and mouse. to defeat these restrictions. Realistically, it’s unconscionable that an automaker would willingly shut down outlets for its high-performance cars in the name of safety.
consumers want the option to go fast. It’s an attractive selling point for a sports car and similar to having the option from drinking alcohol, smoking cigarettes, and performing a myriad of other tasks that present risks to the user’s own health. The problem is that a huge 4.5-ton electric vehicle stretching its legs at full speed on public roads poses a threat to other drivers, passengers and pedestrians. No automaker or consumer wants to have more government oversight over a product they make or own, I certainly don’t. But at some point, we have to accept that there will be people who will die due to misusing the product in the name of exciting acceleration, and even one will be too many.