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.
“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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