A Mother’s Advice On Electric Vehicles

 In Auto Opinions, Vehicle Safety

“Hey Mom, can I take the Ferrari out for a spin?”

Few parents are going to fall for this one. We know our kids don’t have the experience or maturity to control the high horsepower of a sports car.

Parents are unlikely to grant their teenagers’ request to take the Ferrari out for a spin due to their lack of experience and maturity to handle a high-powered sports car. Statistics show that teenagers aged 16-19 have a significantly higher rate of fatal crashes compared to more experienced drivers. However, an alternative proposal might catch parents off guard: “Hey Mom, how about buying an electric vehicle (EV) that will protect me and the environment?”

EVs have gained a reputation for being reliable and simplistic, making them seem like ideal first cars for teens, especially considering the safety advantages offered by larger EVs like pickups or SUVs. The allure of newer EVs is further amplified by flashy ads showcasing their impressive acceleration. For instance, the GMC Hummer EV pickup can reach 0 to 60 mph in just three seconds, comparable to the 2022 Ferrari F8 Spider. The power behind these vehicles lies in their ability to deliver instant and direct torque through electric motors.

However, experts express concerns about the drag racing potential of these high-performance EVs, labeling them as “absurd” and “extreme.” The risks are evident: drivers may take unnecessary risks, and pedestrians and other drivers may not have enough time to escape potential harm. Moreover, due to their weight and momentum, heavier EVs require more time and distance to come to a stop, making their stopping power a significant concern.

Parents should educate their teens about the risks associated with driving EVs and consider their child’s temperament before purchasing one. If teens have a penchant for speed or distraction, it is advisable to opt for an internal combustion engine vehicle or hybrid with ample size and the latest safety features.

For those still considering an EV, it is crucial to emphasize the differences between these high-performance EVs and traditional vehicles encountered in driver’s education. Teens must be aware of the vehicles’ quick acceleration, slower stopping time, significant blind spots, and the potential harm they can cause to smaller vehicles and vulnerable road users.

In conclusion, parents should remind their teenagers that driving comes with great responsibility and encourage them to drive responsibly, treating the vehicle as a potentially dangerous weapon.

A longer version of this blog appeared as an editorial in Ahwatukee Foothill News on May 10, 2023.

Working together to create a world where everyone walks away from a crash.