Who says electric cars are unsafe? The Tesla Model S has just been awarded five out of five in every single crash test carried out by the American equivalent of Euro NCAP. Heroically, it even broke the crush-test machine, which managed to put pressure equivalent to the weight of four other Model Ss down onto the test mule’s roof before the machine failed. There are no pictures of the event itself, unfortunately... That’s just one of the crazy tests they run. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) smashed the Model S into concrete walls, catapulted it sideways into an artificial lamp post and simulated a car crashing into it as it pulled out of a junction. There are roll-over tests and rear shunts to think about as well, but the Model S, made by our old friend Elon Musk - who also came up with the Hyperloop - aced every trial. But get this: it didn’t just score the top official marks in all sub-categories. The NHTSA keeps awarding points even after a car tops the five-star mark, creating a numerical Vehicle Safety Score (VSS). The Model S set a new overall record VSS of 5.4 stars, making it safer in a crash than anything else ever tested under the same scheme. Eat that, Volvo! Having no engine block means the S can have a larger crumple zone to absorb more of the impact energy, and incredibly advanced production methods spread more of the force through the full length or width of the shell, meaning the body deforms less in an impact. This is good news. Also nice to hear is that it’s almost impossible to roll the Model S over. All the normal methods used during testing to flip it wouldn’t work, so boffins had to devise artificial means of turning it over. Not a bad day in the office, if you ask us. A few videos have surfaced online showing some of the crashes in the NHTSA test. Check them out and know that if you were in the car, you’d have walked away from every hit.
Sign in to your Car Throttle accountContinue with Facebook