A parking garage on the Volkswagen plant site in Zwickau, Germany on February 23, 2023. Volkswagen has converted the site into a purely electric vehicle factory at a cost of 1.2 billion euros. Hendrik Schmidt/picture alliance via Getty Images
- Experts in the UK are concerned the weight of electric cars could cause old parking lots to collapse.
- Many multi-story parking lots have structural flaws due to a lack of maintenance, The Telegraph reported.
- Guidance recommending adding load-bearing weights to the infrastructure is due to be released soon.
As the popularity of electric cars grows, some experts are concerned that the heavy weight of electric vehicles could cause multi-level parking lots in the UK to collapse.
Due to the aging infrastructure of many parking garages in the country, engineers said that the amount of weight the buildings can hold should be raised and that maintenance of parking lots should be improved, according to a report by The Telegraph.
“I don’t want to be too alarmist, but there definitely is the potential for some of the early car parks in poor condition to collapse,” Chris Whapples, a structural engineer and car park consultant, told The Telegraph.
Steve Holmes, senior technical manager at building supply firm Sika, also told the news outlet that many parking lots in the UK had structural flaws “baked in” due to a general lack of maintenance.
Electric vehicles are significantly heavier than gasoline-powered cars, given the weight of the batteries necessary to power them.
Ford’s F-150 Lightning electric pickup truck, for example, is 2,000 to 3,000 pounds heavier than the same model’s non-electric version, according to the Associated Press.
The UK government’s ambition is to have at least 50% of cars electric by 2030, and as many as 70% of new car sales – and up to 40% of new van sales – should be ultra-low emission.
Whapples and Russell Simmons, chair of the British Parking Association’s structures group, have suggested new guidance that recommends adding higher load-bearing weights to deteriorating parking lots to help adapt to the weight of electric cars. It will be published in the next few weeks, according to The Telegraph.
This is not the only cause for concern when it comes to the mass of the vehicles. Earlier this year in the US, the head of the National Transportation Safety Board said there are many safety concerns when electric cars collide with lighter ones.
Over the years, electric cars have become increasingly popular due to energy efficiency and the promise of a more environment-friendly form of transportation. Drivers of these vehicles still face challenges, however, including driving range and the amount of time it takes to recharge the car’s battery.