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More EVs Could Accelerate Parking Garage Collapses - Expert Points to an Overlooked Detail

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U.K. car experts and engineers are concerned about outdated parking structures being over-weighted by EVs. But the problem is not just a British one.

Electric vehicles can be much heavier than conventional cars because of their batteries (a detail often overlooked). These weighty cars could take a toll on older parking structures, making them more prone to buckling and collapse.

In response, the British Parking Association has written new guidance on U.K. parking structures, calling for an increase in their weight capacity, The Telegraph reported.

Structural engineer Chris Whapples helped write the BPA guidance, along with the chair of the association’s structures group Russell Simmons.

“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,” Whapples said. “Operators need to be aware of electric vehicle weights, and get their car parks assessed from a strength point of view, and decide if they need to limit weight.”

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EVs weigh more than the cars of the 1960s and 1970s, which is when many of the U.K.’s car parks were built, according to The Telegraph.

The new guidance would require an increase in concrete floor strength from roughly 562 pounds per square meter to 674 pounds.

The BPA said the new guidance is precautionary and should not cause alarm.

But this problem of outdated parking structures and the potential for collapse is not unique to the U.K.

Will electric vehicles accelerate parking garage failures?

On Tuesday, a parking garage in New York City collapsed, killing at least one person.

The parking structure was built in 1925 but the building has had improvements since then, according to Fox News.

The cause of the collapse has not been determined yet.

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With the increase of heavier EVs on the road, it is not difficult to imagine such collapses could happen to outdated structures.

For instance, according to Kelly Blue Book, the 2023 GMC Hummer EV weighs over 9,000 pounds. Conversely, the gas-powered Sierra 1500 weighs 4,430 lbs.

According to KBB, much of the Hummer’s weight comes from its Ultium battery, which alone weighs approximately 2,900 pounds.

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