Automobiles

Nissan Leaf scores maximum 5 stars in Euro NCAP crash tests

The Nissan Leaf has earned the maximum five-star safety rating in the Euro NCAP crash tests -- the highest score given to any electric vehicle to date.

The all-electric Nissan Leaf has been awarded the maximum five-star safety rating in the Euro NCAP crash tests -- the highest score given to any electric vehicle to date. The news will please chums of the planet, who finally have a hard-as-diamond-coated-nails motor to drive. 

In the NCAP (New Car Assessment Programme) tests, the Leaf earned an 89 per cent rating for adult safety, an 83 per cent rating for child protection, and an 84 per cent rating for the efficacy of its on-board safety systems.

Among those safety systems are dual-stage supplemental airbags whose deployment force varies depending on the severity of the accident, so they're less likely to kill you; electronic stability control; and a lithium-ion battery pack that doesn't explode during front or side impacts -- always a bonus.

The car's pedestrian-safety rating of 65 per cent appears to be rather mediocre, but Nissan says this figure is higher than average thanks to the Leaf having fewer 'hard points' under the bonnet -- like internal combustion engines and whatnot.

The Leaf's Euro NCAP results surpass those of the Mitsubishi iMiEV electric car, which scored four stars in the same tests. The Leaf's rating also compares favourably to that of the latest Ford Focus, which scored 5 stars overall, 92 per cent for adult safety, 82 per cent for child safety, 72 per cent for pedestrian protection and 71 per cent for its safety-assist features.

"We are not surprised by these results," commented Jerry Hardcastle, Nissan's vice president of vehicle design and development. "The Nissan Leaf has gone through more tests than any car we have ever produced. On top of the conventional offset-barrier and side-impact tests, we have tested the electrical system in every way to ensure it can never be overcharged and that the isolation programme works as intended in a crash."

The Leaf is available to buy now for £25,990. You can have a look at it being destroyed below.