The Tesla Model 3 all-electric sedan has earned itself a top safety award from US-based insurance body IIHS (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety).
It’s the second electric vehicle to ever claim a place on the IIHS Top Safety Pick+ list, following the only other electric vehicle to get the top safety gong, the Audi e-tron.
Tesla tweeted the announcement via Twitter on Thursday afternoon, saying that the Model 3 earned “top scores across all eight tests covering crashworthiness, occupant protection, crash avoidance, and headlight systems.”
Model 3 has earned the IIHS 2019 Top Safety Pick+ Award, earning top scores across all eight tests covering crashworthiness, occupant protection, crash avoidance, and headlight systems.
— Tesla (@Tesla) September 19, 2019
In a blog post on the EV maker’s website, it says that elements of the Model 3’s design that contributed to the safety listing include its reduced roll over risk (due to the battery pack lowering the vehicle’s centre of gravity), its rigid aluminium/steel cabin and large front crumple zone thanks to the lack of engine under the bonnet.
“Vehicles with alternative powertrains have come into their own,” IIHS Chief Research Officer David Zuby said in a statement on the IIHS website.
“There’s no need to trade away safety for a lower carbon footprint when choosing a vehicle.”
According to the IIHS statement, “The Model 3’s structure held up well in one of the Institute’s most challenging crash tests, the driver-side small overlap front test.
“Intrusion of 8 inches at the lower door-hinge pillar contributed to a moderate risk of injury to the driver’s lower leg, as indicated by measures taken from the dummy.
“No other injury risk was recorded, and the front and side airbags and the seat belt worked well to control the dummy’s movement during the crash.”
You can view the Model 3’s performance in this particular test below while other videos of the crash tests are available on the IIHS website.
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.