A series of battery electric, hydrogen-electric, plug-in hybrid and regular hybrid cars have scored top marks in the latest round of Euro NCAP safety tests.
The first European offerings of two Chinese brands – the Lynk & Co 01 hybrid and NIO’s ES8 electric car – both achieved the maximum five stars in the tests, with the former scoring 96 per cent for adult occupant protection and a maximum score for side impact. It was also praised for its full suite of active safety features.
The NIO ES8 – which has gone on sale in Norway first of all – had great results for its autonomous emergency braking system and its series of crash-avoidance features which helped it to achieve a 92 per cent score for safety assist.
Michiel van Ratingen, Euro NCAP’s Secretary General, said, “A wave of China-made new energy vehicles in Europe is under way with new models launched by BYD, XPeng, DFSK, Seres, etc. Unfortunately, many of these are still not so transparent to European consumers when it comes to safety.
“Lynk & Co and NIO, however, show that ‘Made in China’ is not any longer a pejorative term when it comes to car safety. Here we have two new cars, both Chinese-developed, performing extremely well in our tests. It’s clear that all manufacturers know that Euro NCAP will hold them to high standards if they want to sell cars in Europe and gratifying that they are prepared to make the investment to get the best safety ratings.”
The new Subaru Outback also scored highly with a 95 per cent safety assist score, while the hydrogen-powered Toyota Mirai also scored a five-start rating. The latter was also tested closely when it came to crash and post-crash safety, but Euro NCAP found that the hydrogen powertrain had no effect on its inherent safety.
Audi’s electric Q4 e-tron – much like its Volkswagen ID.4 and Skoda Enyaq stablemates – also scored a maximum five-star rating.
Van Ratingen added: “This round of tests highlights the direction in which car technology is moving. All but one of the cars are electrified in some way or another. The Mirai has hydrogen fuel cell technology. These are moves driven by a need for greater protection of the environment.
“But the cars also have some of the very latest active safety technology and this, too, is part of a trend that has been going on for some time and will continue to do so, to save lives on Europe’s roads. The manufacturers of these cars don’t ask you to choose between saving the planet or saving your family, and nor should you be asked to!”