The weight of cars in Australia is increasing and it’s becoming a problem. The average car in Australia weighs 2.05 tonnes. The two most popular new vehicles in the country are utes, which are among the heaviest on the market. Heavy vehicles are harder to stop, cause more intense accidents, and emit more pollution.
This trend is partly due to tax incentives that encourage people to buy heavier vehicles. SUVs and utes make up more than three-quarters of all cars sold in Australia. This could impact passenger and pedestrian safety, as well as pollution levels.
Figures show that SUVs accounted for 53% of vehicles sold last year, while utes represented 23% of sales. The weight of vehicles in Australia has been increasing steadily for over a decade, with new vehicles now weighing an average of 2.05 tonnes.
Experts say that the popularity of utes needs to be addressed, especially as motorists transition to electric vehicles. Currently, the two most popular vehicles in Australia, the Toyota HiLux and Ford Ranger, are also among the heaviest, weighing over three tonnes each.
Electric cars, despite being blamed for weight issues, actually weigh less than traditional cars. Tesla’s Model Y weighs 2.4 tonnes, while MG’s ZS EV weighs 2.06 tonnes. The use of electric vehicles could help lighten the burden on Australia’s roads if consumers choose smaller models.
The rise in vehicle weight is seen as a safety issue, as heavier vehicles are harder to stop and cause more damage in accidents. Manufacturers are adding safety features to mitigate the risk, but both manufacturers and policymakers need to take action to address the growing weight issue.
Taxes could also help combat the rise in vehicle weight. The Australian Electric Vehicle Association has suggested a road user charge that takes into account both distance driven and the weight of the vehicle, encouraging people to consider weight when buying a vehicle.
In addition, the increasing weight of battery-electric trucks is a pressing issue. Australian infrastructure may not be able to handle the weight of these trucks, so further research and policymaking is necessary to address this concern.
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