I'm a parking expert – here's my warning over leaving electric cars in multi-storey buildings | The Sun

A PARKING expert has warned drivers about leaving their electric cars in multi-storey buildings.

Electric cars are becoming increasingly popular -and some experts are worried that the weight of these vehicles could cause multi-level parking spaces in the UK to collapse.

Electric vehicle batteries can weigh about 500kg – meaning they can be a lot heavier than their petrol counterparts.

For example, according to the Times, an electric Peugeot 206 weighs 1,530kg – compared with the 1,153kg petrol version.

Similarly, the average weight of a Volkswagen ID.3 is 1,830kg – much heavier than the petrol Volkswagen Golf at 1,388kg.

And due to the ageing infrastructure of many parking garages in the UK, engineers believe that the amount of weight the buildings can hold should be raised and that maintenance of car parks should be improved.


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Chris Whapples, a structural engineer and parking consultant, told the Times: "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."

Steve Holmes, senior technical manager at building supply firm Sika also says that many parking lots in the UK had structural flaws "baked in" due to a general lack of maintenance. 

Whapples and Russell Simmons, chair of the British Parking Association's structures group, have suggested new guidance that recommends adding higher load-bearing weights to deteriorating parking lots to help adapt to the weight of electric cars.

And it will be published in the next few weeks.

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According to Green NCAP, the average weight of vehicles sold in Europe has increased by 9% over the last ten years.

Similar concerns have been aired in the US as Jennifer Homendy, the chairwoman of the US government agency of the National Transportation Safety Board, claims that the greater weight of EVs could be dangerous in car accidents.

She said: "I'm concerned about the increased risk of severe injury and death for all road users from heavier kerb wights and the increasing size, power and performance of vehicles on our roads."

This comes after electric car drivers were warned about possible vehicle battery damage.

Plus, an electric car could cost you 50 per cent more to insure than a petrol equivalent.

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