IIHS Crash Tested its Heaviest Vehicle Ever to Prepare for Massive EVs

Electric vehicles are really heavy, and that’s bad news for our roads, our environment and passenger survivability in crashes. The weight increase also complicates things for the safety watchdog groups dedicated to crash-testing new vehicles. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety had to rig up the heaviest vehicles it’s ever tested to make sure its evaluation equipment is up to the challenge.

The IIHS loaded up some older vehicles with steel plates and concrete blocks to replicate the weight of some of the heavier EVs heading to market — like the gargantuan Hummer EV, which clocks in at about 9,500 pounds. The electric Hummer’s batteries alone weigh more than an entire Miata.

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IIHS crash propulsion system still pulling its weight

Naturally, the IIHS doesn’t drive vehicles into concrete pylons under their own power. The agency uses a propulsion system consisting of a tow cable that gets hooked to the vehicle and brings it to a speed of 40 mph over just 600 feet. This battery of tests with extra-heavy vehicles was meant to ensure the 20-year-old “crash machine” is up to the task with increasingly massive vehicles.