The US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has given top billing to Tesla’s “mass market” electric vehicle, the Model 3, saying it has the lowest and second lowest probability of injury rating of all the cars the safety testing agency has put to the test.
The popular EV, now the biggest selling car in its category in the US, has its architecture based on its more expensive sister models the Model X and Model S. The agency assessment delivers it a perfect Five Star rating as well as the lowest probability of injury to occupants.
The results of the NHTSA testing has been widely anticipated for the last few weeks, since CEO Elon Musk posted on Twitter on September 20, 2018, that the Model 3 had ‘a shot at being safest car ever tested’.
The results—and videos—are now out, showing that the Model 3 Long Range Rear-Wheel Drive beats all other vehicles tested by the NHTSA on probability of serious injury to those inside, including the Model X and S.
The EV car company attributes the leading figures to a 50/50 weight distribution, as well as ‘low polar moment of inertia’, which basically means that all the heaviest bits are located close tot he car’s centre of gravity.
As well as a low centre of gravity, the company states that other safety features such as a ‘strong, rigid passenger compartment’ and fortified battery pack contribute to the outstanding safety rating.
We’re not going to go into the specifics of why the frontal, side and pole impact tests were so outstanding – you can read about the specifics on Tesla’s own news blog – but we did rustle up some videos that made their way to Youtube thanks to Crashnat1 for you to view:
Tesla also released it’s own report comparing accident figures for Q3 2018 on October 4, against across-the-board data recorded by the NHTSA.
“Over the past quarter, we’ve registered one accident or crash-like event for every 3.34 million miles driven in which drivers had Autopilot engaged,” Tesla wrote.
“For those driving without Autopilot, we registered one accident or crash-like event for every 1.92 million miles driven.
“By comparison, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) most recent data shows that in the United States, there is an automobile crash every 492,000 miles. While NHTSA’s data includes accidents that have occurred, our records include accidents as well as near misses (what we are calling crash-like events).”
The company says it will in the future release accident figures on a quarterly basis.
Bridie Schmidt is lead reporter for The Driven, sister site of Renew Economy. She specialises in writing about new technology and has been writing about electric vehicles for two years. She has a keen interest in the role that zero emissions transport has to play in sustainability and is co-organiser of the Northern Rivers Electric Vehicle Forum.