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Safety Ratings for Electric Cars

Over the years, the Nissan LEAF and other electric cars have consistently earned high ratings for safety.

Judging by the safety ratings performed by the federal National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the private Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), electric cars are pretty darn safe. Most get ratings at least as good, if not better, than their internal combustion counterparts.

Battery cars and plug-in hybrids have accumulated an admirable record, but it can become clouded by news reports—like the sensational treatment given three Tesla fires. And this week there’s more controversy in downgraded ratings for many small cars (especially the Honda Fit and Fiat 500) in the IIHS tests—not because the cars got any worse, but because the agency added a tough small-overlap crash test. The new small overlap evaluation tries to replicate what happens when the front corner of a car collides with another vehicle, or with an object like a tree, at 40 miles per hour.
Electric Cars = Small Cars

Let’s face it, many of today’s battery cars—such as the Chevy Spark EV, Honda Fit, Fiat 500e, Scion iQ, Smart ED and more—are either small or smaller than small. So anything that calls into question small car safety could worry EV shoppers.


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