Nissan Leaf scores five-star NCAP safety rating – 2012 launch in NZ

Nissan Leaf scores five-star NCAP safety rating – 2012 launch in NZ

Nissan’s fully electric vehicle the Leaf is going from strength to strength and can now add a five-star crash rating to its list of accolades. The zero-emission vehicle is the first electric vehicle ever to earn the highest rating Euro NCAP gives out.

To break it down the Leaf scored an 89% rating for adult safety, an 83% rating for child protection and an 84% rating for its on-board safety assist systems, which include Electronic Stability Control (ESC) and a speed limiter as standard. It also got a passing grade of 65% score for pedestrian safety, thanks in part to the low nose design and the comparative lack of ‘hard points’ under the bonnet.

“The Nissan Leaf proves that EVs can achieve the same safety levels as traditional cars. The standard is now set for the next generation of such cars on the European market,” said Euro NCAP Secretary General Michiel van Ratingen.

Nissan Leaf’s safety assessment followed standard Euro NCAP procedure, with tests for frontal impact, side impact, side pole impact and whiplash. The car’s 48 lithium-ion battery modules, which are housed in a special compartment beneath the floor, withstood all the impacts. The EV’s battery system was switched on during the crash simulations to test the in-built safety measures of the electrical system, which includes automatic cut-off isolation in the event of an accident. The car passed without problems.

Nissan’s Leaf, which went on sale in Japan, the US and in parts of Europe at the beginning of the year, has a range between charges of up to 175 km, as tested over the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC).

The family-sized hatch is powered by an electric motor and inverter in the front of the car which drives the front wheels. The AC motor develops 80kW of power and 280Nm of torque, enough for a maximum speed of 145 km/h. Standard features include air conditioning, satellite navigation, rear-view parking camera, a quick charge socket and smart-phone connectivity.

Nissan is planning an early 2012 retail launch of the Leaf in New Zealand.

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