Experts are concerned that old parking garages are not designed for today's cars, which are getting heavier because of huge batteries.

Modern electric vehicles are heavier than their petrol and diesel counterparts due to the weight of the batteries used to power them. Electric vehicle batteries can weigh anywhere from 500-1000 pounds, depending on the size and type of battery used. Additionally, modern electric vehicles also feature other components not found in petrol and diesel cars, such as motor controllers and inverters, which add to their overall weight.

As covered by The Telegraph, the British Parking Association has warned that older parking garages built in the 1960s and '70s, which have suffered from neglected maintenance, could collapse under the strain of modern electric vehicles. EVs can be up to 9046 pounds, whereas cars back then weighed under 3000 pounds, making older structures susceptible to structural issues. To combat this problem, authorities suggest parking structures should get weight limits for heavier cars or have fewer bays, and that concrete car park floors should have a design loading limit of 3 kilonewtons of load per square meter.

The British Parking Association (BPA) is preparing to release new guidance on the issue. Structural engineer Chris Whapples, who helped author the report, notes that the situation could be dire in some cases. “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,” said Whapples, adding "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.”

While the report focuses on the UK, it's a problem that could easily affect the US, too. American tastes tend heavier than those in the UK, whether we're talking about EVs or simply the gigantic pickup trucks of today.

Евгений Ушаков
Evgenii Ushakov
14 years driving