Electric Vehicle

Adapting Highways: Embracing the Era of Electric Vehicles

April 1, 2024
Gregory Highway
Gregory Industries

In our recent ATSSA Highway Subcommittee meetings, we delved into a critical topic shaping our industry - the transition from internal combustion (IC) engines to electric vehicles (EVs) in vehicle fleets. Insights were shared from recent tests conducted by MwRSF for the US Department of Defense (DOD), focusing on how MGS guardrails perform under impacts from EVs traveling at 62 mph.

The USACE-sponsored testing of EVs against standard MGS guardrails highlighted a significant challenge posed by the increased weight of EVs compared to gasoline-powered cars, primarily due to heavy batteries. This weight disparity raises concerns about the effectiveness of the nation’s roadside safety system, as traditional guardrails may struggle to withstand the force exerted by EVs.

The testing results confirm that Electric Vehicles (EVs), with their greater mass and lower center of gravity, are expected to overwhelm current highway infrastructure designed for Internal Combustion (IC) vehicles. This underscores the need for highway hardware to evolve to meet the changing vehicle landscape, especially with EVs projected to comprise 50% of the fleet by 2030, according to government mandates. 

During the ATSSA San Diego subcommittee meetings, the team observed video footage showcasing an electric-powered pickup truck accelerating towards a guardrail. The 2022 Rivian R1T, weighing nearly 4 tons (3.6 metric tons), penetrated the metal guardrail and only came to a halt upon colliding with a concrete barrier several yards away on the opposite side.


As testing standards evolve alongside these changes, rest assured that your Gregory team is diligently monitoring market developments. We are committed to staying ahead of the latest trends to ensure our solutions align with the evolving needs of the industry and contribute to enhanced roadside safety.

To learn more and stay up to date with industry news and changes visit atssa.com