Study: Electric vehicles accelerate road deterioration

An electric vehicle is nearly twice as damaging as a comparable gasoline or diesel vehicle.
An electric vehicle is nearly twice as damaging as a comparable gasoline or diesel vehicle. Source: Siim Lõvi/ERR

According to the study conducted at the University of Leeds in the United Kingdom, electric vehicles are 312 kilograms heavier on average than conventional vehicles.

According to the study, the average electric vehicle is nearly twice as damaging as comparable gasoline or diesel vehicles. Larger electric vehicles weighting more than two tons cause the most damage, which costs nearly two and a half times as much as the average internal combustion engine vehicle.

Sven Pertens, chair of the board of the construction company TREV-2 Group, said that if the study's findings were accurate, infrastructure would be severely affected.

"As a consequence of the increased pressures on the road structure, the road will be damaged and deteriorate faster. At the current financing level, however, the national budget strategy and road maintenance plan for the upcoming years anticipate even further funding cutbacks. Our road infrastructure will not endure at this funding level and will be rapidly deteriorate," he said.

The Transportation Administration's director of mobility planning, Johann Peetre, said the increase in vehicle weight will have a negative impact on infrastructure and fine particles in asphalt wear. Obviously, the concentrations of other air pollutants and CO2 will decrease significantly.

Meelis Telliskivi, the chief executive officer of the Estonian Logistics and Freight Forwarding Association (ELFA), said that trucks and buses have the greatest impact on the condition of the roads, but it is important to bear in mind that those cars will become even heavier in the future, necessitating increased financing from the state budget for road maintenance.

"Regarding infrastructure, it is inevitable that roads will deteriorate and will require increased maintenance," he said. "Unavoidably, funds must be located in the budget for these activities."

Raivo Sell, research fellow at the department of mechanical and industrial engineering at the Tallinn University of Technology (TalTech), emphasized the necessity of new solutions. "In a few years, electric cars will account for 10 percent of new vehicle sales, and in 10 years, they will account for 40 to 50 percent. Certainly, new solutions will be implemented gradually; their introduction is unavoidable."


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Editor: Aleksander Krjukov, Kristina Kersa

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