Opinion by Paul Mulshine
The other day I was in Washington Crossing. But hardly anyone was crossing.
That’s because one of those monster pickup trucks was stopped on the Pennsylvania side of the narrow, two-lane bridge over the Delaware River.
The bridge is just 15 feet wide. It has a three-ton weight limit.
That means common vehicles like the Cadillac Escalade, Lincoln Navigator and Toyota Land Cruiser are outlawed. But their owners, like the guy in this pickup, often try to cross anyway.
This guy was stopped because his truck filled both lanes of what is supposed to be two-lane bridge. He had to wait for westbound traffic to stop before he could cross.
The long line of drivers behind him didn’t look happy.
His truck wasn’t electric, but this problem will only get worse as more electric vehicles come on the market. Because of the weight of their batteries, which can add 1,000 pounds or more, many are much heavier than their fossil-fueled counterparts.
There are seven that exceed that 6,000-pound weight limit imposed on that bridge and many narrow roads.
That includes cars like the Tesla Model X, Audi e-tron, and BMW iX.
Some, including the E-Hummer and the Rivian, even exceed the 8,000-pound limit on some roads.
What will be the effect of all these monster vehicles on traffic safety? It won’t be good, said a recent article in Fortune Magazine headlined: “Drivers beware: Some electric cars are so heavy they risk crushing smaller vehicles in collisions.”
…Imagine the impact if the percentage of EVs in the fleet, now at 5.8 percent of annual purchases, reaches 50 percent. That’s the Biden administration’s goal for 2030 but the public is not coming along.
A recent survey by the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago found that only 19 percent of respondents say that it’s likely they would buy an EV. Nearly 80 percent said the lack of a reliable charging system was their primary concern.