Safety is a critical factor for many when purchasing a new car, and it’s particularly important in the family car sector – which makes it vital for EVs, given most of them are just the right size for those duties.
In the past, there was a concern that EVs were not all that safe, but this has been proven to be a myth.
Electric cars are now just as safe, if not safer, than traditional combustion models. Here we’ve picked the best five models that meet Euro NCAP’s stringent criteria to be awarded the top five star safety rating.
The IONIQ is Hyundai’s most electrified model ever – it’s offered with the option of a traditional hybrid, a plug-in hybrid option, as well as a pure EV.
It also continues Hyundai’s excellent streak with safety, with the IONIQ being awarded the top five-star rating when tested in 2016. It scored particularly well in the adult occupant protection and safety assist categories, with ratings of 91 and 82 per cent respectively.
Standard safety kit also includes autonomous emergency braking, a driver attention alert, lane keep assist and lane departure warning.
Premium models – particularly those costing in excess of £50,000 – are not always tested by safety experts Euro NCAP, but Jaguar had a point to prove with its I-Pace.
The British manufacturer certainly succeeded in showcasing its first all-electric model’s safety features, with the I-Pace coming in with a five-star safety rating.
All versions also benefit from automatic emergency braking, lane-keep assistance, rear cross traffic monitoring (which spots hazards when reversing out of parking spaces) as well as traffic sign recognition.
The Leaf is one of the safest cars on sale for under £30,000, and was scored exceptionally highly by Euro NCAP across all categories, although it was the adult occupant protection category where it did best – recording a 93 per cent rating.
As well as coming with a huge range of standard equipment – such as high-beam assist, lane-departure warning and intelligent adaptive cruise control, there’s also the option of the Pro Pilot package (standard on Tekna grade cars), which allows the model to drive semi-autonomously.
The Zoe is one of the most affordable ways into owning a new electric car, and there shouldn’t be any safety concerns, either, with the French model having a five-star safety rating under its belt, since it was tested in 2013.
While the model is starting to show its age, and therefore doesn’t come with the same level of standard safety aids as newer rivals, it’s still a fantastic model where safety is concerned.
When the seventh-generation Golf was unveiled in 2012, it became one of the safest cars in its segment. While the model is due a replacement soon, it remains a very safe model thanks to a five-star rating.
Because the body is unchanged from the standard Golf, the electric version carries over the impressive safety rating, while also coming as standard with adaptive cruise control, front assist and city emergency braking.
MINI Countryman Plug-in Hybrid
MINI is gearing up for an all-out assault on the electric vehicle market with the arrival of the aptly-named MINI Electric later this year — but for now, it offers just the one electrified machine in the Countryman Plug-in Hybrid. When it comes to safety, it's one of the best cars on the road — taking top Euro NCAP honours. With high safety for adult occupants and child occupants, plus impressive assistance tech, there's peace of mind to be had when behind the wheel of this MINI.