Last month, Audi's flagship E-Tron also received a Top Safety Pick + award from 2019, becoming the first EV to do so, according to the organization. The vehicle also impressed the IIHC with its collision assessments, collision avoidance systems and headlights that automatically suppress thanks to a high beam assist function.
Along with the two EVs, another alternative fuel vehicle, the hydrogen fuel cell-driven Hyundai Nexo, also qualified for a Top Safety Pick +. Chevy's Bolt, meanwhile, earned "good" ratings in most crash tests, but failed to receive a Top Safety Pick award because the headlights gave too much glare to oncoming drivers.
Tesla's Model 3 has previously received a five-star safety rating from NHTSA. However, there were problems with the organization in coming up with certain security requirements for Model 3 in the marketing material. The NHTSA issued a cease and desist letter and referred the matter to the FTC.
IIHS grants but argues that EVs are safer than ICE vehicles in ICE a smash. Without a big, heavy gasoline engine at the front, the theory goes, manufacturers are better able to design the structure to absorb shock and protect the occupants. "The fact that the battery can be placed in many places, perhaps with more flexibility than a gasoline tank, [also] offers the potential to make electric vehicles safer," Chief IIHS Research Director David Zuby told CNBC .
IIHS secured it a bit, but said EVs are not "inherently" safer than ICE cars. However, Zuby noted that the vehicles appear to be at least on par. "There is no need to trade away the safety of lower footprints when choosing a vehicle," he said.