The all electric Nissan LEAF has been awarded the highest five star NCAP safety rating, the first electric vehicle to earn the distinction.
The Nissan LEAF was awarded 89% for adult safety, 83% for child protection and 84% for the on-board safety assist systems, including Electronic Stability Control (ESC) and a speed limiter as standard. The pedestrian safety score for the Nissan LEAF was 65%, partly due to the low nose design and lack of 'hard points' under the bonnet.
Euro NCAP Secretary General Michiel van Ratingen said "The Nissan LEAF proves that EVs can achieve the same safety levels as traditional cars. The standard is now set for the next generation of such cars on the European market."
During the crash simulations, the Nissan LEAF's battery system was switched on, in order to test the in-built safety measures of the electrical system, which includes an automatic cut-off isolation in the event of an accident.
"We are not surprised by these results," said Jerry Hardcastle, Nissan's vice president of vehicle design & development. "Nissan LEAF has gone through more tests than any car we have ever produced. On top of the conventional offset barrier and side impact tests, we have tested the electrical system in every way to ensure it can never be overcharged and that the isolation programme works as intended in a crash."
The Euro NCAP crash test results follow a Top Safety Pick rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety in the US, and is Nissan's second five-star rating in Europe this year, when the Nissan Juke received top marks.
The Nissan LEAF has been on sale since March 2011, and a between charge range of up to 110 miles. An AC motor produces 80kW of power and 280 Nm of torque, with a top speed of 90mph.
Features for the Nissan LEAF include climate control, rear-view parking camera, smart-phone connectivity, satellite navigation and quick charge socket.
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