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Chevrolet Volt & Nissan Leaf Ace in IIHS Crash Tests

By SYF77 on 09 May 2011

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The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) released the results of the first ever US crash test evaluations of plug-in electric cars, with two electric vehicles (EVs) earning the highest safety ratings. They are namely the Chevrolet Volt and Nissan Leaf, which were awarded the top rating of “good” for front, side, rear and rollover crash protection. Since both cars are fitted as standard with electronic stability control systems, they also qualified as winners of ‘Top Safety Pick’, the Institute's award for state-of-the-art crash protection.

"What powers the wheels is different, but the level of safety for the Volt and Leaf is as high as any of our other top crash test performers," says Joe Nolan, the Institute's chief administrative officer. "The way an electric or hybrid model earns top crash test ratings is the same way any other car does. Its structure must manage crash damage so the occupant compartment stays intact and the safety belts and airbags keep people from hitting hard surfaces in and out of the vehicle," Nolan added.

Classified as compact cars from their exterior dimensions, the Volt and Leaf are closer to mid-size and larger cars when it comes to their curb weights, thanks to their hefty battery packs. At 1,529 kg, the Leaf is heavier than a 2.0L Nissan Teana (1,447 kg), while the 1,705 kg Volt outweighs the Chevrolet Epica (1,500 kg). "The Leaf and Volt's extra mass gives them a safety advantage over other small cars. These electric models are a win-win for fuel economy and safety," Nolan says.

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Written by SYF77
I have been a car fanatic since 1989, when my father was changing our family car then to a Toyota Corolla 1.6 GL fitted with a Twin Cam 16 valve engine that was carburetor-fed, a big deal back in those days. The automobile technology and industry fascinates me and I hope to broadcast these interesting developments to everyone out there through this blog.

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