Home » It’s Incredible How These Smallish EVs Weigh More Than These Huge Old Gas Cars

It’s Incredible How These Smallish EVs Weigh More Than These Huge Old Gas Cars

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I know it’s not exactly news to state that electric cars are heavy. Really heavy. Batteries are heavy things, and it makes you realize just how spoiled we are when it comes to fossil fuels. Think about it: liquid gasoline has about 100 times the energy density of a lithium-ion battery, and as that gasoline is used, the weight – about eight pounds per gallon – goes away. Not so with an EV battery, which weighs as much full as empty. Gasoline was such a huge springboard for humanity and automotive development, being energy dense enough to deal with wildly inefficient engines and crude overall design and still work. So, thank you, gasoline!

Lithium batteries are incredible technology, but if they have an Achille’s heel, it’s their weight. Well, and how slow they can be to charge. And the danger of thermal runaway. But that’s it! They’re still amazing. Amazing and heavy.

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This heaviness isn’t really obvious, either; there’s a lot of modern EVs that aren’t that big, size-wise, but are actually quite dense, and if you actually look at the numbers, they’re, you know, big. But to really viscerally appreciate just how heavy this whole crop of modern EVs are, I think you need some kind of familiar comparison. And I don’t mean using a bunch of units of weight that somehow we’re expected to know, like 75 spiral-sliced hams or a six dozen full water cooler bottles – I mean comparing these new EVs to older combustion cars.

Especially smaller EVs, because the comparisons are even more dramatic. So, with that in mind, I’ve selected five small-to-midsize EVs and compared them with big-ass land yachts or vans that they, visually improbably, outweigh. And then I compared one full-size electric SUV to a modern small camper, just for fun.

Here, be wowed!

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It’s weird to realize this, right? That Fiat 500e weighs more than the Dodge minivan? It’s like half the size! That Toyota with the dumb name is heavier than a freaking Town Car? A Tesla Model 3 weighs more than a Cadillac Fleetwood Brough-motherfucking-ham! And the Hummer being heavier than a whole freaking motorhome, even though it lacks a toilet or kitchen or beds? Madness! All of physics as I’ve understood it feels upended!

How can this be? But it very much is. EVs may be the future, and that future is looking very, very heavy. 

 

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Michael Hess
Michael Hess
6 days ago

My model Y weighs almost exactly the same as my 2010 RX 350, and my Cybertruck weighs 200lbs less than my ’06 Ram MegaCab.

Can’t compare to old cars Torch, you know that!

MegaVan
MegaVan
7 days ago

It’s interesting the perspectives on “damage to roads”.

An article confirming the engineering on the vast majority of roads (not chip and tar over dirt) would be interesting.

Davedave
Davedave
6 days ago
Reply to  MegaVan

FWIW, the UK trunk-road-building authorities say that consumer vehicles – EV or not – make a negligible contribution to wear, and it’s almost entirely down to heavy goods vehicles, coaches, and similar. Which makes sense; whether a car/SUV is three tonnes, or only two, or a tonne and a half, is pretty immaterial when HGVs are 44 tonnes.

MegaVan
MegaVan
5 days ago
Reply to  Davedave

That’s the point. We’ve been driving one ton trucks for a long time. I just saw a dump truck on my road hauling 25 tons of gravel. There are a lot worse things out there than EVs.

Johnpmac
Johnpmac
7 days ago

And that 22 Kona EV that I drive? About 400 pounds heavier than the same year Honda crv, which is just a wee bit bigger. So… Um… How about an apples to apples comparison? Modern cars are heavier across the board

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