Electric cars are faring well in crash tests and in real world accidents, here’s why

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The latest electric models from Volvo and Ford have received high marks from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), which said electric cars as a group are performing well in its tests.

The Volvo XC40 Recharge received the best Top Safety Pick+ designation, while the Ford Mustang Mach-E was rated a Top Safety Pick due to underperforming headlights on some trim levels.

The IIHS also recently gave the Audi e-tron, Audi e-tron Sportback and Tesla Model 3 the Top Safety Pick+ designation.

“We can now say with confidence that making the U.S. fleet more environmentally friendly doesn’t require any compromises in terms of safety,” IIHS President David Harkey said.

Harkey’s comment is supported by a study from the organization’s affiliated Highway Loss Data Institute (HDLI) that looked at nine vehicles available with both internal combustion engines and electric powertrains — as the XC40 — from 2011 to 2019 and found that the electric models had a 40 percent lower injury claim rate.

The IIHS said the improved passenger safety can likely be attributed, in part, to the heavier weight of the electric vehicles which works in their favor in multi-car crashes.


In the case of the XC40, which was not included in the HDLI study due to its recent release, the electric version weighs nearly 1,000 pounds more than the gasoline-powered model.

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