European New Car Assessment Programme tests Mitsubishi i-MiEV
The European New Car Assessment Programme (Euro NCAP) performed the first electric vehicle (EV) safety test to date on the Mitsubishi i-MiEV which came away with a four star safety rating (out of five). The i-MiEV will also be marketed as the the Citroën C-Zero and Peugeot iOn in Europe.
Euro NCAP tested the car with a live battery which makes sense as this is how the vehicle will be driven in the real world. As this was the first test of its kind, special precautions were taken to protect lab personnel. Importantly, the i-MiEV was subjected to the same test as internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles. In addition to evaluating the condition of the vehicle post test, extra attention was paid to the integrity of the battery pack post test and to the proper functioning of the battery cut-off switch that isolates the high-voltage battery in the event of a crash.
If the automobile consumer is to take EVs seriously, they must be seen as real cars in use, in testing and in other comparisons with ICE vehicles. Just as not all cars receive five star safety ratings, not all EVs will receive five star safety ratings. Testing in the United States has not taken place on any electric vehicles yet by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA – which offers the five star government crash test rating found on the window sticker of a new car) nor the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
Bottom line – Euro NCAP found no electrical or fire hazards in their testing of the i-MiEV.