Will plug-in cars ruin roads with their heavy batteries?

We've heard some pretty interesting arguments against the Chevrolet Volt and the Nissan Leaf, but this is perhaps one of the more interesting. In an Op Ed, Tainted Green has outlined just how the weight of those vehicles will ultimately lead to the degradation of our nation's infrastructure. Seriously.

As you may recall, both the Volt and the Leaf performed remarkably well in crash tests thanks in part to their heavy battery packs. Tainted Green says that those li-ion pounds will generate undue wear and tear on road surfaces and, since hybrids and EVs aren't subject to the same percentage of gasoline tax as their full internal combustion counterparts, the rest of the driving population are going to be stuck footing the bill.

The Nissan Leaf tips the scales at 3,370 pounds while the Chevrolet Volt weighs in at 3,760 lbs. For perspective, the electric Nissan weighs around 18 percent more than its Versa equivalent. The Chevrolet, meanwhile, comes at 17 percent heavier than its platform cousin, the Cruze.

So, does Tainted Green have a point? Yes and no. While both the Volt and the Leaf weigh more than their compact and subcompact counterparts, the vehicles are still well under the average weight of a modern mid-sized sedan, to say nothing of the tonnage represented by a full-size pickup or a big rig. Given the relatively few Leaf and Volt models projected to be sold in the near future, we don't see our nation's highways crumbling under the strain of EV motoring any time soon.

[Source: Tainted Green | Image: Zach Bowman / AOL]

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