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Nissan Leaf top scores in toughened-up crash test

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The Nissan Leaf electric car has become the first vehicle to undergo new and tougher crash tests introduced for 2018 – and gained a top five-star rating.

The improved and extended protocols that safety body Euro NCAP has incorporated into its rating system for 2018 include new tests that analyse accident situations involving cars, pedestrians and increasingly cyclists. The latter is considered particularly important for electric vehicles due to cyclists not being able to hear their virtually silent motors.

The testers want to see that the autonomous braking technology being introduced on many cars can detect fast-moving cyclists and act accordingly, and that pedestrian recognition systems can still function effectively at night or in low light.

The ability of electronic lane-keeping technology to still work properly when the edge of the road surface is unmarked, and to react correctly to overtaking cars in an adjacent lane, is also incorporated into the new tests.

Pioneer crash subject

The first car to be put through the tests, the Leaf scored 93% for adult safety and 86% for child protection. Latest Leaf models include a suite of safety systems under the ProPilot banner, using cameras and radar.

The initial Nissan Leaf became the first electric vehicle to earn a five-star Euro NCAP rating in 2011 and now the latest model has repeated the feat. “It is crucial that advancements in safety are not compromised by new powertrain systems,” says a Euro NCAP spokesman.

“The Nissan Leaf comes with many new safety features and demonstrates that environmental friendliness need not come at the expense of improved safety – the safety of those inside the car and those who share road-space with it.”

Nissan Europe electric vehicle director, Gareth Dunsmore describes the Euro NCAP announcement as proving that the new Nissan Leaf has exceptional safety standards and is a true pioneer among electric vehicles. “This shows that our customers can fully trust our Nissan Intelligent Mobility vision, we are on a path to transform the way we drive and the way we live,” he says.

Nissan Leaf crash test The Car Expert

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Andrew Charman
Andrew Charman
Andrew is a road test editor for The Car Expert. He is a member of the Guild of Motoring Writers, and has been testing and writing about new cars for more than 20 years. Today he is well known to senior personnel at the major car manufacturers and attends many new model launches each year.