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Electric cars in SA

The debate on whether or not Electric Vehicles (EV) are viable in South Africa rages on.

Electric car Euro NCAP tested

2011-05-26 07:46

CRUSHING BLOW: Nissan's Leaf survives the pole test in its Euro Ncap assessment.

Six new cars were subjected to the Euro NCAP’s latest round of crash tests although the real talking point is likely to be the performance of Nissan’s Leaf electric hatchback.

The Leaf, the safety agency says, is the first of its kind to receive a five-star overall rating.

The hatchback’s battery pack is housed beneath the rear seating compartment meaning that while the occupants are well protected in a crash, there’s also little risk of battery damage.

Euro NCAP Secretary General, Michiel van Ratingen, issued a glowing assessment, saying: “The Nissan Leaf proves that EVs (electric vehicles) can be equally safe as common cars. The standard is now set for the next generation of cars on the European market.”

Also receiving five stars is the latest generation Ford Focus. The hatchback was noted for its 72% pedestrian protection, but also additional safety features including Active City Stop and the car’s lane assist programme.

Peugeot’s latest executive sedan, the 508 and Citroen’s DS4, along with Lexus’ CT200h hybrid hatchback, were all awarded five-star ratings. However, the French car’s relatively poor scores in pedestrian protection were noted.

From 2012, the percentage of pedestrian protection scores to achieve five stars will increase from 40- to 60%, Euro NCAP added.

Volvo's five-star V60 rounded off the latest list.

Videos: Euro NCAP testing 2011

Volvo V60
Nissan LEAF
Peugeot 508

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