Transport Minister “astonished” by sudden EV breakdowns as government reviews EV dangers

Concerns raised over how electric cars can be moved when they breakdown

Transport Minister “astonished” by sudden EV breakdowns as government reviews EV dangers

The UK government is to review the potential hazards electric cars may pose amid concerns about how electric cars can be moved when they breakdown, given that many cannot be towed.

The House of Lords debate comes amid ongoing discussions about smart motorways.

During the debate, Barnoness Randerson, Lib Dem transport spokesman, said: “When an electric vehicle ceases to function, it stops; it does not coast in the way that other vehicles do.

“Smart motorways are supposed to be the future, but the future is electric.

“Those vehicles stop very suddenly.

Related: Electric vehicle training for emergency services to reduce risks of new hazards

“They also cannot be towed; they have to be put on a low-loader, which is a much more complex and longer process that will put rescue teams in greater danger.

“So can we have special consideration for how these new motorway layouts will operate when there are lots of electric vehicles on the road?”

In response,  Transport Minister Baroness Vere said: “When I first heard this, I was absolutely astonished.

“Quite frankly, this is applicable not just to smart motorways but to every single road.

“We will need to be able to move electric vehicles, wherever they happen to stop or end their days.”

“Difficult to move”

During a recent test of real-world electric car range, Carwow found that some EVs were “difficult to move” when the batteries were run flat.

The tested included everything from the Tesla Model 3 and Audi E-tron, to the Kia e-Niro and Nissan Leaf.

The AA has also highlighted the issue, saying that the problem with EV manoeuvrability when they’re either out of battery or malfunctioning is another in a growing list of reasons that emergency refuge areas should be more frequent on smart stretches of motorway.

Edmund King, president of the AA said: “You can’t flat tow some electric vehicles more than 800 metres, some you can’t flat tow at all.

“So the problem is they will take longer to get off the motorways.”

Baroness Vere concluded, saying that “work is underway to look at short-term measures to make sure we can get electric vehicles off to places of safety as quickly as possible, on whichever road, because that certainly would be a large drawback to the introduction of electric vehicles”.

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Home Page Forums Government to review EV dangers as Transport Minister “astonished” by sudden EV breakdowns

  • This topic has 7 replies, 1 voice, and was last updated 1 week ago by S Nicol.
Viewing 7 posts - 1 through 7 (of 7 total)
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  • #191895 Reply
    James Walpole

    There needs to be emergency disconnection of the driveline to the road wheels to permit towing.

    #191896 Reply
    anthony w edwards

    A hard shoulder would be a cracking idea.

    #191897 Reply
    Stephen Round

    what aboutin major hold ups (traffic jams etc) could many EVs run out of charge making it near impossible to clear the road

    #192047 Reply

    I gather increasingly people are afraid to use the inside lade, because in traffic if someone stops, you ‘don’t gonna get past’ them….

    #192048 Reply


    #192080 Reply
    Les Gornall

    I own a Nissan Leaf and after a long journey I found I was approaching my last charger with enough battery to get me to my home charger plus another five miles. In retrospect I should have charged up 10 miles worth (10mins total time or less) and continued. However, on descending into the valley in which my home is situated, the temperature dropped by about 5 deg.C and this rolled off the low end capacity of the batteries. Consequence – I came to a dead stop in a narrow lane a mile from home. Fortunately there was a domestic layby in front of some cottages and I was able to stop off the road but had I not made that I would have been stopped dead in a blind dip on a fast narrow road. A high speed impact would have been inevitable. It was snowing and visibility was a problem. Fortunately kind neighbours lent an extension lead and in an hour the lights were back on and we got home. However, once the power was off the wheels locked and there was no way of pushing the car to safety. This is a major problem. Even rolling a car onto a set of dolly wheels for towing would not be possible with human pushing alone. Having said all this I would never go back to an ICE powered car.

    #193357 Reply
    S Nicol

    This is inevitable as the Battery Range Depletes after a few years, so there will be many people run out of power early before reaching home & be Stranded on Roads throuout the Country . Electric Car Batteries are just like many batteries fitted to Drills, Phones etc they lose Power efficiency & need to be charged more frequently.

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