Euro NCAP has today published its latest batch of car crash test results, including the first test of a fully-electric car, the Mitsubishi i-MiEV.
The Mitsubishi i-MiEV scored a creditable four-star rating in the test and is the first of a series of electric cars to be tested by Euro NCAP in 2011.
Mitsubishi i-MiEV proves EV safety
Euro NCAP’s decision to test the i-MiEV is big news for the electric car market.
There have been some concerns about the safety of electric cars in a crash (read David Evans’ Which? Conversation on the subject). However, the four-star Euro NCAP rating achieved by the i-MiEV puts it on a par with similarly-sized, conventionally-powered cars.
The i-MiEV shares its four-star rating with its twin models, the Citroen C-Zero and Peugeot iOn, which both have the same safety equipment.
Euro NCAP: EVs tested with a full charge
The Mitsubishi i-MiEV was tested with live batteries and was exposed to the same test conditions as all other conventional cars scrutinised by Euro NCAP.
Following the crash, Euro NCAP focused on the condition of the battery, looking at battery integrity and the proper functioning of the battery cut-off switch that isolates the high-voltage battery in the event of a crash.
Extra precautions were taken before, during and after the testing to ensure safety, and extra firefighting measures were put into place to ensure safety.
However, no electrical or fire hazard was detected during the testing of the Mitsubishi i-MiEV.
Mitsubishi i-MiEV: First electric car to be tested by Euro NCAP – see the video
Euro NCAP: EVs should be as safe as conventional vehicles
Dr Michiel van Ratingen, Euro NCAP’s Secretary General, said: ‘We recognise the efforts done by Mitsubishi to demonstrate that plug-in battery powered cars can be as safe as others.
‘It shows that a future five-star accolade for EVs is not unthinkable.
‘Whether produced by established cars manufacturers or by new players on the market, consumers should expect to get electric vehicles that meet the same safety standards as conventional vehicles.’
Five-star ratings for Nissan Juke and Mitsubishi ASX
Euro NCAP also awarded the Hyundai ix20 a five-star rating as it’s sister car, the Kia Venga, received the same score in the last round of tests and both share identical safety equipment and safety fittings.
The BMW X1 was re-evaluated using stricter 2011 protocol, and scored a five-star rating as it did in its previous test.
The only car that failed to score a four or five star rating was the Dacia Duster, which could only muster three stars. However, the Dacia Duster will not be on sale in the UK.
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