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Slideshow: Safety Ratings for EVs & Plug-In Hybrids
9/4/2013

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The 2014 Ford Focus EV earned NHTSA five-star safety ratings across the board --overall, frontal crash, side crash, and rollover protection.(Source: Ford Motor Co., NHTSA)
The 2014 Ford Focus EV earned NHTSA five-star safety ratings across the board --
overall, frontal crash, side crash, and rollover protection.
(Source: Ford Motor Co., NHTSA)

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Rob Spiegel
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Mixed bag on safety
Rob Spiegel   9/4/2013 11:44:16 AM
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Interesting comparisons, Chuck. Looks like EVs and hybrids are not inherently safer because they are EVs or hybrids. It also seems to say that Tesla scored high not because it's an EV, but because it's a Tesla.

TJ McDermott
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Re: Mixed bag on safety
TJ McDermott   9/4/2013 1:36:54 PM
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Rob, I think your assessment is correct.  Even the theory that battery placement improved rollover resistance does not fit across the board for these vehicles.

naperlou
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Re: Mixed bag on safety
naperlou   9/4/2013 3:01:34 PM
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The design IS what matters.  What also matters is the safety standards imposed and followed.  Look at this article: http://www.thenanfang.com/blog/three-dead-after-electric-taxi-in-shenzhen-explodes-over-the-weekend/

 

A locally made all electric taxi was hit by a regular automobile.  The ICE vehicle drove away.  The driver and passengers of the EV were burned to death within seconds.  This happened in China.  The standards compliance there is not up to the level they are in other places.  I would feel very safe in a Tesla or other highly rated car in the US because I know that the standards are real and enforced. 

By the way, in our labor day parade there were two Tesla S cars, a Tesla Roadster and a Fisker.  Boy, they were quiet.

Rob Spiegel
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Re: Mixed bag on safety
Rob Spiegel   9/4/2013 7:25:25 PM
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I agree TJ. I would attribute Tesla's safety scores to the company's excellence in producing its product and not any intrinsic superiority of an EV vehicle. Chuck's slideshow seems to indicate the power train isn't the critical factor.

rainmaking
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Gold
Re: Mixed bag on safety
rainmaking   9/5/2013 9:15:14 AM
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The EV hating goes on and on...

Obviously an all-electric drivetrain offers more flexibility in location and distribution of major/heavy components in the vehicle, which enables designers to not have as many tradeoffs when it comes to safety.

VoltDave
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Iron
Re: Mixed bag on safety
VoltDave   9/5/2013 10:08:16 AM
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Chuck,

Image 6, at least at the time I looked at it, showed a Ford, not a Chevy Cruze.

 

 

ChriSharek
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$100k worth of Safety
ChriSharek   9/5/2013 10:28:55 AM
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A comparison of the Porsche Panamera, BMW M5, and Mercedes AMG C-class and the Tesla Model S would be interesting - from a crash rating perspective.  The cost and performance for these vehicles is comparable.  But for $100k+, I would hope nothing less than 5 stars would do . . .

Rob Spiegel
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Re: Mixed bag on safety
Rob Spiegel   9/5/2013 9:48:32 PM
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Yes, those EVs are quiet, Naperlou. The blind community is very upset out the lack of noise from EVs. They're trying to get the automakers to produce an artificial noise for EVs so blind people know when they're coming.

Cabe Atwell
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Re: Mixed bag on safety
Cabe Atwell   10/23/2013 6:10:39 PM
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I agree with ChriSharek, if I'm dropping that kind of money on a vehicle (no matter what kind it is) it better be able to handle anything thrown at it within reason. Obviously, I wouldn't expect to come out alive after tumbling 150 feet down a mountain overpass and then bursting into flames.

Rob Spiegel
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Blogger
Re: Mixed bag on safety
Rob Spiegel   10/24/2013 12:16:21 PM
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You're right Cabe, we have certain reasonable expectations about safety in the vehicles we buy. Sometimes, we can see there's a problem -- the Smart Car on the road with all these giants SUVs -- but we don't expect the materials the car is made from to let us down.

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