Recently the Nissan LEAF was slapped with a lower-than-expected crash safety score after a new round of tests from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Things aren’t much better across the Atlantic for the Nissan e-NV200 electric van either, which received a 3 out of 5 star rating from the EuroNCAP crash tests.
3 out of 5 stars doesn’t sound awful, but compared to the rest of the European automatic fields it actually puts the e-NV200 towards the bottom of the rankings. Adult occupant safety was rated at 75%, while child safety was marginally better at 80% overall.
Weak areas of particular concern was marginal whiplash safety during a rear-end collision, and both front passenger chest and driver right-leg protection could be better.
The worst revelation of the e-NV200’s safety test though was for pedestrians, netting a 60% rating, and NCAP now also judges new vehicles based on available safety equipment. The e-NV200 got a scandalous 38% in this category, meaning it may lack numerous safety features other comparable vehicles offer.
This is not the fault of the e-NV200’s electric drivetrain though, as the Tesla Model S has proven just how safety EVs can be when done right. Nissan, meanwhile, is working on a less-controversial looking version of the LEAF with more range, while the e-NV200 has only just begun production. The e-NV200 is aimed at fleet sales, where safety may be less of a concern, but that shouldn’t mean it takes a back seat to the electric drivetrain.
Hopefully Nissan steps up the safety of its EVs and learns a few lessons from Elon Musk.