Electric Car Safety Ratings

With huge advancements in driver technology and their celebrated zero-emissions contribution, electric cars are the future of modern transport. But how safe are the current EVs on the market?

Read on to find out how The Euro NCAP (The European New Car Assessment Programme) ranks each electric car’s safety.

What is The Euro NCAP?

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The Euro NCAP is a non-profit voluntary organisation which provides safety assessments for most cars. It was formed on behalf of the UK Department for Transport in 1996 but is now the go-to advisor for vehicle safety by the European Union too.

Each vehicle is scored using a star system which rates how safe a car is overall, with five stars the highest achievement, meaning ‘excellent performance in crash protection’. On the other hand, zero stars are given to a vehicle which can be legally sold but is ‘lacking critical modern safety technology’. On top of this, cars are given a percentage rating (max. 100%) on how well a car protects adult and child passengers, other vulnerable road users and any safety technology onboard.

10 Safest electric cars

These cars have been heralded as the best in class for superior safety while you’re out on the road.

Whether it’s a robust build for greater passenger protection in a collision or a plethora of advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) preventing collisions in the first place. If your number one priority is safety, you should definitely consider one of these cars.

1. Tesla Model X

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Tesla is leading the charge for producing electric vehicles and it’s doing this none more than in the safety department for its range.

The Model X is a large, heavyweight SUV (five metres long, two metres wide) with plenty of power (553bhp as standard) but has a multitude of safety features that counterbalance this so it never feels like it can get out of hand.

Top safety features

  • Tesla Autopilot – lane centering, adaptive cruise control, semi-autonomous navigation, speed assist, autosteer and autopark.
  • Front airbags for driver and passenger, plus side head/chest/pelvis airbags for all passengers.
  • Automatic emergency braking for pedestrians, cyclists and specific modes for city/motorway driving.
  • Active bonnet to reduce impact damage to any pedestrian or cyclist if a front collision happens.

Euro NCAP ratings

Adult protection: 98%

Child protection: 81%

Road user protection: 72%

Safety assist: 94%

2. Tesla Model 3

Tesla Model 3

Tesla’s ‘mass market’ family car, the Model 3 is a large saloon which has an even better safety rating than its bigger, the Model X.

Passive safety (i.e. what keeps you safe in a crash) is one of the best you’ll find in an electric car thanks to the structure of the vehicle. In a roof-crush test, the Model 3 was able to resist more than 20,000 pounds of force (greater than five times its weight).

Top safety features

  • Tesla Autopilot – lane centering, adaptive cruise control, semi-autonomous navigation, speed assist, autosteer and autopark.
  • Automatic emergency braking for vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists.
  • Vehicle hold – keeps the brake pedal pressed even after removing your foot from it, which is especially useful on hills.
  • Traction control.
  • Pedestrian warning system – emits sound when driving below 20mph to alert pedestrians that you’re oncoming.
  • Belt pretensioner and load limiter for all passengers, plus side head airbags.

Euro NCAP ratings

Adult protection: 96%

Child protection: 86%

Road user protection: 74%

Safety assist: 94%

3. Mercedes EQC

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The first fully-electric production by the prestigious German manufacturer, the EQC is considered one of the top EV SUVs. It comes as standard with the brand’s brilliant 4MATIC all-wheel drive system, latest MBUX (Mercedes-Benz User Experience) infotainment system and shares the same DNA as the combustion flagship GLC.

It’s no pup when it comes to safety too, which is why it lands firmly in the five-star category.

Top safety features

  • Automatic collision avoidance.
  • Perpendicular/parallel parking assist.
  • Evasive steering assist – helps carry out controlled manoeuvres to avoid a collision with crossing pedestrians when risk of one is detected.
  • Pre-safe plus – rapidly blinking hazards and pre-tensioning seat belts automatically switch on when an impending rear collision with a car in front is detected.
  • Active speed limit assist – automatically assumes speed limits using traffic sign recognition so that you don’t speed.

Euro NCAP ratings

Adult protection: 96%

Child protection: 90%

Road user protection: 75%

Safety assist: 75%

4. MG ZS EV

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MG appears to be back making a stamp on the automotive industry since it was bought out by Nanjing Automobile back in 2005.

The cars coming off the production line are stylish and affordable, which is refreshing to see in an industry often associated with soaring prices even for stock models. Apply this concept to the electric car market, with a good splash of safety equipment, and there’s little wonder why the MG ZS EV has done so well.

Top safety features

  • ‘MG Pilot’ – emergency braking, lane-departure warning, lane-keeping assistance, traffic jam assistance and speed limit assistance.
    • The top Exclusive trim adds blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert.
  • Tyre pressure monitoring.
  • Hill-start assist.
  • Electronic stability control.
  • Rollover protection.
  • Front, side and curtain airbags.

Euro NCAP ratings

Adult protection: 90%

Child protection: 85%

Road user protection: 64%

Safety assist: 70%

5. Nissan Leaf

Nissan Leaf

The Nissan Leaf is the best-selling electric car in the UK and one of the first modern mass market EVs to hit these shores.

It has great features all round – a refined drive, 168 miles of range and enough space for a family and their luggage. Also, standard safety equipment is very generous too.

Top safety features

  • ‘ProPilot’ system – lane-keep assist, active cruise control (maintains distance between you and the car in front), steering assist to keep the car in the middle of the road on straights and corners.
  • Intelligent emergency braking with pedestrian recognition.
  • Rear cross-traffic alert.
  • High beam assist.
  • Chassis control (includes intelligent trace control/ride control) for better handling.
  • Hill-start assist.
  • Blind spot warning.
  • Tyre pressure monitoring.
  • Automatic hazard warning lights.

Euro NCAP ratings

Adult protection: 93%

Child protection: 86%

Road user protection: 71%

Safety assist: 71%

6. Renault Zoe

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Closely following in the footsteps of the Leaf is the Renault Zoe, which is similarly priced at around £28,000/£196pcm brand new.

This family hatchback is one of Europe’s top-selling EVs and has been since it came to market in 2012. It has evolved since then to include sportier guises with more powerful electric motors (29bhp more) too, so it holds something for everyone.

Top safety features

  • Cruise control.
  • Electronic stability control with traction control.
  • Tyre pressure monitors with tyre repair kit.
  • Emergency brake assist with electronic brake distribution.
  • Automatic lights and windscreen wipers.
  • Iconic and GT-Line trims get rear parking sensors (plus sensors in the front and reverse parking camera in the GT-Line).

Euro NCAP ratings

Adult protection: 89%

Child protection: 80%

Road user protection: 66%

Safety assist: 85%

7. Audi E-Tron

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Just like Mercedes entered the electric market with the EQC, Audi matched it in the same year with the E-Tron, another luxury family SUV.

Despite the E-Tron’s relatively young age, it has one of the biggest accolades in this space, specifically retaining its performance in colder temperatures. Even when it was below freezing outside and cabin heating was on, there was only a 10.5% drop in range delivery when tested (206 miles instead of 230 miles).

More importantly, the array of safety features it has puts it well within the five-star bracket.

Top safety features

  • Autonomous emergency braking.
  • Lane departure warning.
  • Active cruise control.
  • Speed limiter.
  • Electronic stability control.
  • Front, side and overhead airbags.
  • Pretensioning seatbelts.

Euro NCAP ratings

Adult protection: 91%

Child protection: 85%

Road user protection: 71%

Safety assist: 76%

8. Porsche Taycan

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It was only going to be a matter of time before sports car manufacturers dipped their toes in the water of EV production. The Taycan is symbolic of how these cars can hold their own without needing to guzzle loads of fuel, with a massive 616bhp coming from twin electric motors driving all four wheels. On top of this, it will launch from 0-60mph in 2.6 seconds and top out at 162mph.

Porsche, despite its commitment to making hypercars, has always been innovative in the safety department when engineering its vehicles.

Top safety features

  • Traffic sign recognition.
  • Lane-keep assist.
  • Autonomous emergency braking.
  • Eight airbags as standard.
  • Rigid structure design with protective battery placement.

Euro NCAP ratings

Adult protection: 85%

Child protection: 83%

Road user protection: 70%

Safety assist: 73%

9. Kia E-Niro

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The E-Niro is one of the best electric cars on sale for all-round driver/passenger comfort, practicality and superb range – 282 miles on a full charge, according to real-world figures.

As a family subcompact crossover, understandably the vehicle comes with great standard safety equipment that will give any driver peace of mind.

Top safety features

  • Adaptive cruise control.
  • Automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection.
  • Lane-keep assist.
  • Blindspot monitoring.
  • Seven airbags.

Euro NCAP ratings

Individual safety aspects of the E-Niro have not yet been rated by Euro NCAP, although the car did achieve an overall rating of five stars.

10. Hyundai Kona Electric

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There isn’t a great deal of difference between the Kona and the E-Niro, both of which are modelled very similarly and are sister brands too.

As well as sharing the same battery pack and electric motor with the E-Niro, the Kona has some pretty impressive safety equipment which earns it a well-deserved five stars in our and Euro NCAP’s books.

Top safety features

  • Traction and stability control.
  • Six airbags.
  • Blindspot collision warning.
  • Lane-keep assist.
  • Forward collision avoidance assist.
  • Rear cross-traffic collision warning.
  • Driver attention warning.

Euro NCAP ratings

Adult protection: 87%

Child protection: 85%

Road user protection: 70%

Safety assist: 60%

Do you want to find great offers on any of the cars in this list, or find similar safe EVs? Then compare prices now on all our electric car lease deals.

If you want more guidance on what to look for when switching to electric or hybrid vehicles, check out our other guides for everything you need.

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