South Korean carmaker Hyundai says its all-electric Kona compact SUV has become the first electric car to undergo crash testing in Australia, earning a maximum five star ANCAP safety rating.
Put to the test for a front offset crash in September, the electric version of Hyundai’s popular compact SUV scored 14.97 out of a possible 16, beating the petrol version, which was last tested in 2017, by 0.95 points.
“Kona Electric’s pioneering position as the first ever EV crash tested in Australia, and its continuing ANCAP maximum 5-star safety rating, further underscores Hyundai’s eco vehicle leadership,” said Hyundai Australia CEO JW Lee in a statement.
“Given the increasing focus on electric and alternative powered vehicles, and to verify the validity of manufacturer-supplied data for electric vehicle variants, the Kona Electric was selected for an ANCAP audit test,” the crash testing organisation said in a release.
The new frontal offset crash results for the Kona Electric add to the existing 2017 rating which applied to all powertrains offered for the Kona (even though the electric version did not arrive in Australia until March 2019), meaning that it maintains its 5-star safety rating.
As per the ANCAP website:
In September 2019 ANCAP conducted a frontal offset test of a Hyundai Kona Electric battery electric vehicle for audit test purposes. The audit test score was 14.97 out of 16.00. This is a slight improvement over the petrol powered vehicle and sees the existing 5 star ANCAP safety rating maintained.
The frontal offset test involves simulating a head on crash into a vehicle with the same mass – the kind of crash that occurs in 60% of serious incidents on Australian roads.
In 2017, the Hyundai Kona gained its maximum five star safety rating achieving and was recognised for a high level of protection for occupants, although ANCAP noted that automatic emergency brake was only offered as an option on the base model.
“The Kona offers good all-round safety,” said ANCAP boss James Goodwin at the time.
“Its crash test performance was well within 5 star range, and AEB is offered for all variants though it must be optioned on the base variant in Australia. AEB is, however, a standard inclusion on all New Zealand variants.”
In 2016, Hyundai’s other electric offering the Hyundai Ioniq fastback along with its sister hybrid and plug-in hybrid powertrains earned the maximum safety rating with a 90% score for adult occupant protection, 80% for child occupant protection, and 70% each for pedestrian protection and safety assist.
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.