Evaluation of Electrical Vehicle Compatibility with MASH Roadside Hardware

Electrical vehicles (EVs) are increasing in popularity and legislation was adopted by California to ban gasoline-powered passenger vehicles by 2035; similar measures are being considered in other states. EVs tend to be heavier than gasoline vehicles by between 20 and 50 percent for models with similar cabin sizes and power outputs. Also, EVs have significantly different structures than gasoline vehicles: instead of an internal combustion engine, EVs utilize battery packs commonly mounted in the floorpan, and electrical motors that affect vehicle crush space, center-of-gravity height, and structural frame of the vehicle. The differences between EVs and gasoline vehicles could lead to incompatibilities with existing roadside hardware, especially devices currently near their performance limits when tested with current Manual for Assessing Safety Hardware (MASH) test vehicles and impact conditions. As a result, EV crashes may have increased average injury severities and EVs may encounter more roadside hardware failures than traditional gasoline vehicles. It is essential to determine if commonly used hardware is compatible with the burgeoning volumes of EVs on the road. In addition, as vehicles continue to evolve and change, it is necessary to explore how quickly roadside safety hardware should react to changes in vehicle technologies, and the responsibility for evaluating and updating the hardware to accommodate new EV designs. AASHTO MASH defines the crashworthiness evaluation criteria and test conditions necessary to evaluate roadside safety hardware. MASH requires that test vehicles meet certain inertial and dimensional criteria and that vehicles be reasonably representative of commonly available, high-sales volume vehicles. Results of this research will help guide futures editions of MASH, the Roadside Design Guide, and other AASHTO documents. The objective of this research is to explore the compatibility between EV and current roadside hardware, and to determine what is necessary to produce an implementation framework for roadside hardware if EVs are added to the AASHTO MASH evaluation matrix.


  • English


  • Status: Proposed
  • Funding: $1000000
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project 22-61

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    National Cooperative Highway Research Program

    Transportation Research Board
    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001

    American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO)

    444 North Capitol Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001

    Federal Highway Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Project Managers:

    Turner, Anne-Marie

  • Start Date: 20230725
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 0

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01888641
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Research Board
  • Contract Numbers: Project 22-61
  • Files: TRB, RIP
  • Created Date: Jul 25 2023 8:22AM