Economy

Car Park Structures Could Be Collapsing Under The Weight Of Electric Cars

U.K. car experts and engineers are concerned about outdated parking structures being over-weighted by EVs.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.

 

 

 

EVs weigh more than the cars of the 1960s and 1970s, which is when several of the U.K.’s car parks were built.

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

 

 

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

But this problem of outdated parking structures and the possibility for collapse is not uncommon to the U.K.

 

 

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

 

The collapse of a parking garage in New York City on Tuesday that killed at least one person has put a new spotlight on aging structures used for vehicle storage.

The five-level building, which has multiple active infractions listed with the city, dates back to 1925 and was first licensed as a garage in 1957 for five or more vehicles per floor, WNBC reported.

The specific explanation for the structure’s inadequacy is yet to be determined, but updates have been made to it in the years since and it is presently licensed to accommodate 276 vehicles.

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The incident happened after a recent study elevated concerns that many older parking garages may need to be re-evaluated due to the increasing average weight of vehicles, particularly electric models.

The report from the British Parking Association acknowledged that some electric cars weigh more than double what popular models in the same segments did in the 1960s, due in part to their heavy battery packs. This also often applies to modern cars.

For instance, a Tesla Model S weighs over a thousand pounds more than a gas-powered Mercedes E-Class, while a 9,000-pound GMC Hummer EV is 2,400 pounds heavier than the similarly-sized Hummer H2 that was last sold in 2009.

 

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,” car park consultant and structural engineer Chris Whapples told The Telegraph.

“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.”

Whapples worked with the associations structures group to draw up new guidelines that advise an increase in floor strength.

 

 

 

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Ella Ford is a mother of two, a Christian conservative writer with degrees in American History, Social and Behavioral Science and Liberal Studies, based in the Tulsa, Oklahoma area.

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