Chinese, German and Korean EVs score five-star Euro NCAP ratings

Strong crash safety results for BYD, as new EV safety structures impress

Euro NCAP has evaluated some of the latest EVs, and some crash results might surprise traditional car buyers, who prefer legacy brands.

With increasingly strict requirements, vehicles must achieve diverse structural integrity and avoidance gradings to tally a five-star rating.

Thanks to floorplan battery pack placement, EVs have a foundational design benefit regarding rollover mitigation courtesy of their low centre of gravity. The fully-stressed skateboard-type platform, standardised for nearly all EVs, also creates a very rigid crash structure, further enhancing safety.

The latest round of Euro NCAP testing has again proven the inherent benefits of EV design regarding safety. The Volkswagen ID7, BMW 5 Series, Mercedes-Benz EQE and Kia EV9 all attained a five-star rating after Euro NCAP evaluations. This is the highest possible passenger vehicle safety rating.

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The performance of Chinese and Vietnamese brands has been notable based on the latest data set from Euro NCAP testing.

Chinese vehicles such as the Expeng9 and BYD’s Tang and Seal U were tested during the last round of Euro NCAP evaluations for 2023. Both the Tang and Seal U scored five-star ratings. Vietnam’s VinFast VF8, an EV SUV, achieved a four-star rating.

Despite many new EVs achieving five-star ratings, Euro NCAP staff have noted the increasing weight of vehicles under evaluation, with fewer and fewer new vehicles with a kerb mass of less than 2 tonnes. Engineers and technical staff noted that the increase in vehicle weight was attributable to battery size, in an attempt to increase range and offset recharging anxiety.

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Crash testing critics have in the past tabled a notion that stricter crash testing requirements were triggering an increase in vehicle mass, due to the weight of safety systems.

Michiel van Ratingen, Secretary General of Euro NCAP, stated that batteries are many times the weight of safety systems on a balance of mass attribution. “For years, Euro NCAP was seen as a driver of the increasing weight of new cars. It was said that the new safety systems required for high scores made cars much heavier. That has never been the case. The weight increase we are now seeing has absolutely nothing to do with safety systems or requirements.”

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