The electric Nissan Leaf has achieved Euro NCAP's top five star rating - a first for a mass-produced EV.
In the safety rating’s breakdown, the Leaf received an 89 per cent rating for adult safety, 83 per cent for child protection and 84 per cent for its on-board safety-assist systems - including Electronic Stability Control (ESC) and speed limiter.
For pedestrian safety, the Leaf received a 65 per cent rating, thanks to its low nose design and comparative lack of ‘hard points’ under the bonnet, according to the firm.
And the car’s 48 lithium-ion battery batteries – stored in a special compartment under the rear seats - “completely withstood all the impacts,” Nissan added.
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.”
Five other cars to join the Nissan Leaf on the Euro NCAP five star safety record include the Volvo V60 - with 100 per cent for its Safety Assist – the Citroen DS4, Peugeot 508, Lexus CT200h and Ford Focus with a “noteworthy performance of 72 per cent on pedestrian protection,” the highest in the crop of five star cars.
That compares with a strong 65 per cent for the Nissan Leaf, 64 per cent for the Volvo V60, 55 per cent for the Lexus CT200h and, trailing the group with just 43 per cent and 41 per cent respectively, the Citroen DS4 and Peugeot 508.
From 2012, however, three of the six cars tested will no longer qualify for NCAP's top spot, as pedestrian protection scores increase from 40 per cent to 60 per cent.