- IIHS has been crashing vehicles into barricades for decades. To date, the heaviest vehicle the organization has ever tested is the 6,000-pound Audi e-tron.
- With heavier electric vehicles on the way, like the 9640-pound Hummer EV, IIHS wanted to make sure it could handle bringing something heavy up to speed in the crash space.
- To that end, the old Ford F-150 loaded with concrete and steel was destroyed. IIHS of course provides video receipts.
After an accident, first responders need to approach electric vehicles differently from internal combustion engine vehicles. But even before the crash, people working with the crashed car changed their approach.
That’s what the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) discovered while getting ready for a crash test of some very heavy EVs. In a video posted to YouTube, IIHS explains that it acquired a used Ford F-150 that can still be rolled and loaded up to a total weight of 9,500 pounds. The tough tests weren’t meant to see what happens when an old F-150 laden with heavy concrete blocks and steel plates crashes into a wall at 40 miles per hour (spoiler alert, that’s not pretty), but to ensure that IIHS test equipment can handle the test. , for example, the GMC Hummer EV, which in our test tipped the scales at 9640 pounds. The heaviest IIHS vehicle yet to be tested is the Audi e-tron which barely tops out at 6,000 pounds.
“With the inclusion of electric vehicles and the weight of batteries pushing vehicle mass ever higher, we wanted to know that we could do a test here,” said Raul Arbelaez, vice chair of vehicle research at IIHS, in the video. “And if we can’t, we need to do some modifications to our crash engine.”
The IIHS engine uses a tow cable connected to a crash engine to accelerate the vehicle before hitting an obstacle. The IIHS has a runway of 600 feet, but when you’re trying to get nearly five tons of steel and a battery up to 40 mph, you need a powerful propulsion system. Based on the video released by IIHS, the system works well. Get ready for a slow-motion video of a gigantic zero-emission monster being torn apart.
IIHS has studied the effect of vehicle size and weight on occupant safety for decades. In 2003, automakers signed a “compatibility agreement” that they would work to improve the safety of smaller vehicles in collisions with larger ones, particularly in front-to-front and front-to-side collisions. The agreement was finally complied with in 2009, and a 2012 paper noted that reductions in “car accident partner death rates” for SUVs and pickups had come down, and that deliberate safety efforts in certain areas like these could lead to “passenger vehicles”. a much more compatible fleet in the event of a crash.”
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