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Euro NCAP’s standard set for upcoming electric and range-extender cars

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Euro NCAP’s standard set for upcoming electric and range-extender cars

May 23, 2011

Euro NCAP reveals the results of six new cars, including the first 5 star overall rating for a fully electric vehicle.

Placed at the centre of attention of this quarterly release is the five-door mid-size electric hatchback Nissan LEAF, the first of its kind to achieve Euro NCAP 5 star overall rating. The LEAF has a specially designed battery pack below the rear-seat compartment, making sure that not only occupants are well protected in a crash, but also that the risks of battery damage or high voltage leaking are reduced to zero. Michiel van Ratingen, Euro NCAP Secretary General, says: ‘The Nissan LEAF proves that EVs can be equally safe as common cars. The standard is now set for the next generation of cars on the European market ’.

Another car stealing the show this month is the 3rd generation C-segment Ford Focus, also achieving the 5 stars. The newest generation of Focus is continuing the safety record of the previous generations against tougher 2011 Euro NCAP requirements, with a noteworthy performance of 72% on pedestrian protection. New, however, are the additional active safety and driver assistance systems available on the Focus, two of which - Active City Stop and Lane Keeping Aid - are given Euro NCAP Advanced rewards for their respective safety benefits.

Also released this month is the Volvo V60 with an overall rating of 5 stars. This premium sports wagon is equipped as standard with safety systems such as ESC, seatbelt reminder and a driver-set speed limitation device, leading to a maximum 100% score for Safety Assist. The car also has Volvo City Safety as standard equipment, a technology recently rewarded under Euro NCAP Advanced.

Peugeot’s latest D-segment sedan, the 508, and Citroën’s DS4 both achieved a 5 star rating. The Peugeot 508 demonstrated good protection against whiplash injuries in a rear-end collision, the Citroën DS4 being rated as marginal in this regard. In child protection, the two French cars, along with the 5 star-rewarded Lexus CT200h, provided a means to use a rearward-facing child restraint safely in the front passenger seat while providing clear, unambiguous information to the driver about the status of the airbag. Provision for this, along with other factors, is reflected in good child protection scores particularly for the Peugeot 508. The cars are respectively fitted with Citroën Localized Emergency Call and Peugeot Connect SOS, two technologies rewarded by Euro NCAP Advanced. However, both PSA Peugeot Citroën vehicles still have relatively poor scores in pedestrian protection, close to the lower limit currently set by Euro NCAP for a 5 star rating. In 2012, to achieve 5 stars, Euro NCAP will increase the percentage of pedestrian scores from 40% to 60%.

Detailed information on these results and on the safety of the rewarded technologies can now be found on our website and mobile application.

Press contact:
Marie Brasseur, Euro NCAP Communications Manager, +32 2 4007746.

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