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23 February 2011
Concern that the safety of electric cars may lose out to fuel cost and environmental considerations have been answered by the first ever Euro NCAP crash test on one, says the AA. The Mitsubishi i-MiEV supermini recorded an overall score of four out of five stars.
The same 4-star rating applies to the Citroen C-Zero and the Peugeot iOn, both of which are structurally identical to the Mitsubishi i-MiEV and have the same interior fittings and levels of safety equipment.
Following the latest results, crash test experts now believe that 5-star protection is attainable for future electric cars.
Crash testers' chief worry was how well the car's batteries stood up to the impact and the effectiveness of cut-off switches in insolating the high-voltage battery. Euro NCAP observed that no electrical or fire hazards were detected during the testing of the i-MiEV.
"This i-MiEV sets a benchmark in safety that other electric vehicles will have to achieve. From the point of view of future buyers, the success of this crash test will dispel much of the worry about what happens when an electric car is involved in a significant crash," says Edmund King, the AA's president.
Euro NCAP continues to break new ground on car safety and reducing road casualties, encouraging technological leaps forward and raising the bar on car occupant and pedestrian protection.
Euro NCAP today published the results of crashtests on seven new cars:
Dacia Duster (small off-road 4x4) 3 stars
Mitsubishi ASX (small family) 5 stars
Mitsubishi i-MiEV (supermini) 4 stars
Nissan Juke (supermini) 5 stars
Citroen C-Zero (supermini) 4 stars
Peugeot iOn (supermini) 4 stars
Hyundai ix20 (small MPV) 5 stars