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Old car parks across Australia could collapse under the weight of electric vehicles, experts warn

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Multi-storey car parks across Australia are at risk of collapse as the country’s aging infrastructure struggles to withstand the increasing weight of electric cars and massive US vehicles.

Electric cars are extremely heavy despite not having a combustion engine and having fewer moving parts than standard petrol and diesel cars.

The high-tech cars are much heavier than their conventional counterparts because of the vehicle’s heavy batteries.

Australia is also increasingly embracing huge American cars and SUVs – vehicles that typically take up two spaces – further fueling fears of weight stress in car parks.

There are more than 83,000 electric vehicles in Australia, according to the EV Council, with battery-powered vehicles accounting for 6.8 percent of all new car sales in February.

As Australia transitions to electric vehicles – with a target of 3.8 million electric cars on the road by 2030 – the added weight of high-tech vehicles could cause serious problems for car parks built decades ago for smaller and lighter cars.

Experts warn older multi-storey car parks are at risk of collapse due to the weight of electric vehicles (photo: a car park in Britain after a wall collapsed)

The Australian Parking Facility Standard released in 2004 does not specify a weight limit for multi-storey car parks, nor is there a specific weight limit recommendation for each vehicle.

Each state and territory has its own technical and design requirements, but none included a weight limit.

The UK is proposing new guidelines recommending higher load carrying weights for the heavier vehicles.

These guidelines will raise the weight limits that parking floors should be able to support, as experts warn that older structures could collapse under the weight of electric cars.

Chris Whapples, structural engineer and parking consultant, is at the forefront of these new measures that will be published in the coming weeks.

“I don’t want to be too alarming, but there is certainly a chance that some of the early car parks will collapse in bad shape,” Mr Whapples said. The Telegraph.

“If a vehicle is heavier than the car park was originally designed for, the consequences could be catastrophic. We haven’t had an incident yet, but I suspect it’s only a matter of time.

“Operators should be aware of the weight of electric vehicles, have their car parks assessed from a strength point of view and decide whether to limit weight.

‘We have advised to carry out a load check at all older parking garages and the industry is responding to this.’

New electric vehicles are now much heavier than the average petrol or diesel car due to the weight of the battery system (stock image)

New electric vehicles are now much heavier than the average petrol or diesel car due to the weight of the battery system (stock image)

The extra weight of high-tech vehicles can cause serious problems for parking garages built decades ago for smaller and lighter cars (stock images)

The extra weight of high-tech vehicles can cause serious problems for parking garages built decades ago for smaller and lighter cars (stock images)

Electric vehicles are heavier primarily because of the batteries used to power them, along with the reinforced frame and suspension required to transport them.

The Tesla Model X has a curb weight of 2,467 kg, with a gross vehicle weight (GVWR) of 3,069 kg, a weight that exceeded expected requirements in the past.

Other models, including the GMC Hummer EV, weigh more than 4,000 kg and have a GVWR of 4,800 kg.

The model, not yet available in Australia, houses a battery pack weighing more than 1,300kg – the equivalent of a small internal combustion engine car.

The RAM 150 REV, which has been confirmed for Australia, has a 229 kWh battery and has an expected curb weight of over 4,000 kg.

The weight of EVs coupled with issues found in aging buildings, including poor building maintenance, concrete canker and corrosion, means Australia needs updated parking guidelines and recommendations.

The problem arises when every space is taken up by a heavy car, with many suggesting that electric cars are no different than the double taxis in parking garages and on roads across the country.

However, such dual taxis will be the last of their kind as state governments plan to phase out gasoline and diesel cars in favor of their electric counterparts.

In the next 15 to 20 years, new cars sold will be largely electric and today’s 2,500 kg car with an internal combustion engine will eventually be replaced by a 3,500 kg electric car.

Australia transitions to electric vehicles with a target of 3.8 million electric vehicles on the road by 2030 (stock image)

Australia transitions to electric vehicles with a target of 3.8 million electric vehicles on the road by 2030 (stock image)

While Australia lagged behind the rest of the world in EV adoption, the industry received a boost last year after laws were passed giving low and zero-emission cars an exemption from benefits tax.

NSW and Victoria want 50 percent of new cars sold to be EVs by 2030, while Queensland plans for 50 percent of new passenger car sales to be zero-emission by 2030 and 100 percent by 2036.

South Australia wants all new passenger cars sold to be fully electric by 2035, while Western Australia aims for a minimum of 25 per cent light and small electric passenger cars by 2025.

Australian Capital Territory is aiming for 80 to 90 percent zero-emission vehicles by 2030 and plans to phase out registration of new petrol and diesel cars by 2035.

Jackyhttps://whatsnew2day.com/
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