With more and more EVs hitting the roads today, an interesting question about whether the current parking structures can withstand their weight has popped up.
A recent post by the Daily Mail UK seemed to have raised a concern regarding car parks and parking facilities that were not designed to handle the weight of EVs as they tend to weigh roughly double the standard ICE models or counterparts. Let’s dive in a little bit deeper, shall we?
Multi-storey car parks can possibly collapse?
*Image credit: KLIA2.info
The British Parking Association (BPA) has urged the local authorities in the country to carry out ‘urgent structural surveys’ for the thousands of multi-storey and underground car parks in the UK. The reasoning behind this is that most of them were constructed based on the weights of popular cars back in the 1970s and 1980s.
With EVs being heavier than their ICE brothers and sisters, a structural load check should be the best move forward together with improving existing standards for building construction if the plan is for the world to majorly migrate towards electric. Seems fair, but are EVs really that heavy compared to ICEs?
ICE vs EV, mana lagi berat?
For this particular article, we’re just going to look at a few comparisons between EVs and ICEs in terms of weight. An Isuzu D-Max X-Terrain weighs around 2,025kg kerb and is fully loaded at 2,600kg gross. A Ford Ranger Wildtrak? 2,227kg kerb, 3,230kg gross.
We’ve seen these popular pickup truck models everywhere, but there was never a question related to their weight impacts on parking facilities as folks are more concerned about dimensions (the thought of dinging the car parked next to you or vice versa is just urghhh).
The only concern when it comes to most parking lots is the height clearance to ensure that the roofs of the cars don’t get damaged from overhanging pipes and whatnot. From this, we can only assume that the weight limit of the vehicles that can enter the parking facility is based on the dimensions of that height limitation.
Let’s then look at the kerb weights for some of our favourite EVs of 2022 (not fully loaded with passengers and luggage):
It’s safe to assume that when the car is fully loaded, around 500-600kg is added to the kerb weight stated above to get a rough estimate of its gross weight.
If we look at the kerb weight alone for argument’s sake, almost all of the EVs stated above are heavier than the very popular pickup truck model from Isuzu. This is due to their battery packs and beefier chassis setups to make sure that the EV can withstand the load, yet they are smaller in size.
To paint a bigger picture, below is the list of some of the country’s most popular ICE models and their kerb weights:
For bigger and way more premium EVs with longer driving ranges thanks to larger battery packs, their weights are even more astonishing like the Mercedes-Benz EQS 450+ at 2,440kg kerb (2,945kg gross) and the BMW i7 which is roughly estimated at around 2,715kg kerb (3,250kg gross). Starting to get the picture?
What about Malaysia’s car parks?
*Image credit: KLIA2.info
(DISCLAIMER: We might be wrong about this but to be on the safe side, we got our information from a couple of lecturers who specialise in teaching architecture, built environment, and design)
Based on the info that we have received, the current practice of parking structure designs is based on what the entire building can withstand in terms of weight or structural load. As for the parking spaces themselves, the focus has been only on dimensions of size and height as well as maximising those slots – not the weights of individual cars parked on individual lots.
With most popular car models here in Malaysia weighing under 2,000kg gross (meaning fully loaded with passengers and luggage), will it be a problem when more and more heavier EVs are on the roads and parked at multi-storey parking lots, apartments, and shopping malls in the years to come?
And yes, there are EVs that weigh under the 2,000kg mark like the Ora Good Cat (around 1,510kg) and yes, there are also ICEs that weigh significantly over the 2,000kg mark (this list is a lot longer).
But if the country is heading towards electric, this is probably one of the things that should be looked into, particularly for older parking facilities and even more so with the possibility of upgrading them with EV charging stations. One can also argue that future EVs will get lighter and lighter. But hey, no use crying over spilt milk, right?