The 2021 Volvo XC40 Recharge just commanded Top Safety Pick+ recognition while the 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E earned a Top Safety Pick award from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).
The two battery-powered vehicles join a growing but still elite fleet of all-electric and hybrid vehicles rolling away with IIHS safety awards.
Both the XC40 Recharge, a small SUV, and the Mustang Mach-E, a midsize SUV, were put through the paces of IIHS’s six crashworthiness tests. They aced the evaluations, earning good scores in all tests. These included driver- and passenger-side small overlap front, moderate overlap front, side, roof strength and head restraint tests.
But IIHS evaluations don't stop there. To garner either safety award, a vehicle’s front crash prevention system must earn advanced or superior ratings in both the vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-pedestrian evaluations. Here again, both EVs met the strict standard.
The XC40 Recharge comes with a standard front crash prevention system that earned superior and advanced scores in the vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-pedestrian evaluations, respectively. In the case of the Mach-E its standard front crash prevention system garnered superior ratings in both assessments.
Headlights are a critical part of IIHS safety testing. To earn the highest recognition, vehicles must come with good or acceptable headlights across all trim levels and packages.
The curve-adaptive LED reflector headlights installed on every XC40 Recharge earn a good rating — giving it the final element needed to score “plus” status.
While the Mach-E is available with good-rated LED projector headlights on the Premium, GT and First Edition trims, its LED reflectors installed on the Select and California Route 1 trims are rated marginal — making the vehicle fall short of the “plus” recognition.
Injury Claims for EVs 40% Lower than Conventional Models
The Institute says evidence is mounting that electric vehicles are at least as safe as conventional ones. In fact, a recent analysis of insurance data from 2011 to 2019 shows injury claims for EVs are 40% lower than for identical conventional models.
On possible explanation for lower injuries is that the large batteries used in electric vehicles make them substantially heavier than their conventional counterparts. In multi-vehicle collisions, occupants of heavier vehicles are exposed to lower forces.
The IIHS-affiliated Highway Loss Data Institute conducted the latest study. It compares electric and conventional versions of nine models from 2011 to 2019, examining collision, property damage liability and injury claims.