During the last fifty years, the safety of motor vehicles has significantly improved. Features from safety belts and ABS brakes to alerts and automatic braking systems when objects are dangerously near are all vital innovations. As electric vehicles are attracting more buyers, some drivers are pondering their safety. In Germany, an enterprise that is specialized in safety, Dekra, conducted a series of crash tests to determine if an electric compact car is safer or more dangerous in collisions than a car powered by an internal combustion engine.
The results from the crash tests proved that passenger safety in an electric car and in a petrol car is at the same level. The key findings were:
- High-voltage systems of an electric car reliably shut down in an accident.
- The type of damage in an electric vehicle was comparable to the damage that a crash causes to traditional cars.
- There were no fires despite severely deformed batteries in electric vehicles.
The test team smashed Renault Zoe and Nissan Leaf e-cars into static posts, simulating head-on and side crashes. In three crash scenarios, testers initiated a side collision with the post. The Renault Zoe hit the post at 60 km/h (37 mph) and the Nissan Leaf (production models from 2010–2017) at 60 km/h (37 mph) and 75 km/h (46 mph). In the fourth test, a Nissan Leaf simulated a head-on collision at 84 km/h (52 mph).
Dekra also tested methods of rescuing passengers inside a crashed electric car. The initial conclusion was that the rescue teams can use the same tools and techniques they are using for rescue operations in traditional vehicles.
Images by Dekra.