Tags: electric vehicles | road damage | pothole

Electric Vehicles Cause Double the Pothole Damage

Electric Vehicles Cause Double the Pothole Damage

Lauren Fix By Friday, 16 February 2024 03:04 PM EST Current | Bio | Archive

A surprising new study shows that electric vehicles create double the pothole damage to roads and bridges compared to gas-powered cars. Before you get upset one way or the other — let’s take a deeper look at this study and what it says.

Analysis by The Telegraph in Britain has found that the average electric car more than doubles the wear on road surfaces, which in turn could increase the number of potholes. The country is suffering from a pothole crisis, with half as many filled last year compared to a decade ago amid an estimated $12 billion price tag to fill them all.

The study shows that, on a global basis, electric vehicles put 2.24 times more stress on roads as gas vehicles, potentially worsening the pothole crisis on all roads. The impact is even bigger with larger EVs, which can leave to up to 2.32 times more damage to road infrastructure, according to the report.


Fifteen popular EVs were compared to their gas and diesel counterparts, revealing an average weight difference of 312 kilograms or 689 pounds. The increased weight of EVs can be primarily attributed to their heavy batteries, as electric vehicles weigh more than their gas counterparts.

Scientists note that this heightened stress on roads results in the increased movement of asphalt, leading to the formation of small cracks that can eventually develop into problematic potholes. A previous report by the Asphalt Industry Alliance estimated that this cost could mean that nearly 80,000 dollars in additional costs needed to be spent for every mile of a local road, this will lead to increased taxes and fees to cover the costs.

With half as many potholes filled last year compared to a decade ago amid an estimated 12 billion pound or 15.2 million dollar price tag to fill them all. That is the cost in the UK, imagine how many more roads and highways the USA has and the repair costs.

Civil and environmental engineering professor Kevin Heaslip, director of the University of Tennessee’s Center for Transportation Research, said EVs often weigh 30% more than gas-powered vehicles. The main reason is the weight of their batteries, which can add hundreds of pounds or more.

According to Kelley Blue Book; a Ford F150 gas powered truck weighs 4,060 pounds, while the electric truck version weighs, 6,015 pounds;

A Hyundai average gas-powered car weighs 2,899 pounds, the electric version weighs 3,715 pounds; and for Volvo, their average gas-powered car is weighs 3,726 pounds and the electric version weighs 4,662 pounds.

The Federal government's most optimistic forecast states that electric vehicles will account for four out of every five miles travelled by 2035. If the electric vehicle mandate remains in place.

Rick Green, chair of the AIA, told the Telegraph: "Principal roads are already designed to deal with the axle weights for big trucks.” However, local roads are not designed for heavy trucks and that is where roads will have the largest damage to the roads. Experts have said the proliferation of heavier electric cars on smaller residential and rural roads could have more of an impact.

Separate research from the University of Edinburgh found that the roll-out of electric delivery trucks could increase the damage to roads. Last month, a report by the think tank The Centre for Policy Studies, raised the issue of electric vehicles causing more damage to roads, and suggested taxing vehicles based on weight.

Motorist Excise Taxes

We all know what this means, grab your wallet! By-the-mile taxes are coming to take more of motorists’ money. If you think congestion pricing and speed cameras are bad, wait for the next tax zooming down the road at us, for charging motorists for every mile that they drive.

Three states, Oregon, Utah and Virginia, are currently making money via pilot programs that charge motorists a vehicle miles traveled tax (VMT) for every mile they drive, according to the Associated Press.

Iowa is about to adopt an additional “electric fuel excise tax” on July 1, meaning EVs in the state will now pay “fuel” taxes two different ways, whereas gas cars only pay one – and both of these taxes are higher than what a gas car pays.

If the study is true, and it makes sense that it is true, then expect your taxes to increase to cover for these repairs no matter what you drive. I don’t see this as a cynical ploy to steer people away from EVs, I see it as admission of the inevitability involved with widespread EV adoption.

Video Link: https://youtu.be/kxNClmyJfLM

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Lauren Fix, The Car Coach is a nationally recognized automotive expert, media guest, journalist, author, keynote speaker and television host. A trusted car expert, Lauren provides an insider’s perspective on a wide range of automotive topics and safety issues for both the auto industry and consumers. Her analysis is honest and straightforward.

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A surprising new study shows that electric vehicles create double the pothole damage to roads and bridges compared to gas-powered cars.
electric vehicles, road damage, pothole
Friday, 16 February 2024 03:04 PM
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