Heavy EVs Like GMC Hummer And Ford F-150 Lightning Causing Delivery Issues For America's Car Haulers

Industry News / 13 Comments

With current weight limits, it isn't possible to transport enough EVs in one trip.

There's a new problem with the rise in sales of electric vehicles but it has nothing to do with insufficient charging infrastructure, the tax credit debacle, or even the fact that not all EVs are great for the environment. Car haulers are finding that the current weight limits imposed on transportation trucks in the USA are making it a challenge to deliver EVs efficiently, simply because they're so much heavier than gas-powered cars.

These car haulers are now pushing lawmakers to increase the decades-old weight limits, but various safety organizations are warning that doing so could be too dangerous. In both cases, ordinary road users and consumers are set to lose out in some way.

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If weight limits on US roads are not increased, car haulers are saying that deliveries will slow down, costs will rise, and there will be an increase in massive trucks on the road. But in a country where road fatalities are already high, others have argued that heavier vehicles are harder to stop, easier to roll, and increase road wear and tear, all of which could endanger road users.

The trend of heavier vehicles has been exacerbated by EVs, but they're not the only cars to blame. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, US road loads have been rising, as "cars and trucks climbed from an average of 3,200 pounds to 4,200 pounds over the last four decades."

Dating back to 1975 when cars and trucks were far lighter, individual trailers have been limited to 80,000 lbs gross vehicle weight, and a truck and trailer can only account for half of that limit.


According to Automotive News, the American Trucking Associations has requested that lawmakers raise the weight limit to 88,000 pounds, a 10 percent increase that would allow car haulers to carry the same number of EVs as conventionally-powered cars.

An example of the weight discrepancy between EVs and gas models is the Ford F-150 Lightning, which is around 1,600 lbs heavier than the normal F-150. This applies to smaller vehicles as well, with the Volvo XC40 Recharge compact crossover weighing approximately 1,000 lbs more than the normal XC40. Perhaps the biggest offender of all is the obese GMC Hummer EV.

"The truth is, we will not be able to move as many electric vehicles under the current weight limit," said Sarah Amico, executive chairman of Jack Cooper, one of the largest car haulers in the country. "That could mean more trucks on the road, delays in orders, and increased costs."

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Others in the industry continue to oppose the request for a higher weight limit, though, such as Cathy Chase, President of Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety. "With any incremental change comes incremental danger, and that results in more fatalities," said Chase.

The ultimate decision rests with Congress, which has allegedly not yet communicated its stance on the issue. The US Department of Transportation didn't say whether it supports an increase in the weight limits, either.

Clearly, getting motorists behind the wheel of an EV is just one part of the puzzle, as the mass transition from gas power comes with an entirely new set of logistical and environmental challenges. With less than 1 percent of the cars on US roads being EVs currently, the industry must be prepared to face new challenges like the weight limit debacle along the way to hitting the Biden administration's 2030 goal. That goal is for half of car sales in the country being EVs or plug-in hybrids by 2030.

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