The Latest and Greatest Safest Electric Cars


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For many of us, car safety scores are at the top of our list when it comes to deciding what car to get. The Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) – our region’s independent voice on vehicle safety – recently ranked three new vehicles among the safest electric cars entering the market.

Using a star rating system of 0 to five, ANCAP gave all three five-star ratings. If you’re looking at buying an electric car in Australia, these three should be on your list.

Let’s look at why…

This image shows an airbag exploded at a car accident. The safest electric cars have air bags

The ANCAP assessment

ANCAP has been around since 1993 and has become a critical assessment tool for private and fleet car buyers. Its star system shows the level of safety a car provides to those occupants inside and pedestrians outside in the event of a crash.

It also assesses the car’s technological ability to avoid or minimise the effects of a crash.

ANCAP performs a range of what it calls “destructive physical tests” and assessments to come up with its rating. The tests occurs across four key areas:

  1. Adult occupant protection,
  2. Child occupant protection,
  3. Vulnerable road user protection, and
  4. Safety assist (effectiveness of the safety technologies that help a driver prevent or minimise a crash).

ANCAP’s car safety scores make finding the safest electric cars or other vehicles much easier. You can find out more about its rating system here:

Latest safest electric cars: The Tesla Model Y

Tesla’s Model Y is on track to become the highest selling car by volume in the world by early 2023. The Model Y has been somewhat of a testing platform for its cutting edge electric vehicle technology, with new die-casted frame sections, upgraded battery cells and a new structural battery pack design.

It achieved an all-time record score of 98% in the Safety Assist pillar of the ANCAP test, and the highest Adult Occupant Protection score to date against the latest 2020-2022 rating criteria (97%).

The Model Y … received maximum points in the majority of collision avoidance test scenarios

The Tesla earned high car safety scores for its ability to avoid a crash with another vehicle, pedestrian, or cyclist, and received maximum points in the majority of collision avoidance test scenarios.  

Up to this point, ANCAP has measured only indirect Driver Monitoring Systems (DMS). A DMS is a system in your car that detects your level of attention while driving. Indirect systems use driver inputs, such as pressure on the steering wheel, as a measurement tool.

All Tesla Model Ys are fitted as standard with a direct DMS. This uses on-board driver-facing cameras that automatically enhance the sensitivity of the Forward Collision Warning system to be more reactive if distracted or impaired driving is detected.

From 2023, direct DMS functionality will be assessed under ANCAP’s 2023 test and rating criteria. This is just one of the many impressive improvements ANCAP is making to its criteria – see here for more.

If you’re not sure if the Tesla Model Y is for you, check out our guide on how to choose the best electric car for you. Once you’ve read that, find out what’s different about insuring a Tesla.

This image shows Tesla Model Y, one of the safest electric cars according to ANCAP car safety scores

Latest safest electric cars: Kia Niro

The Kia Niro comes in three types – the all battery electric, hybrid, and plug-in hybrid. All three scored five stars in the ANCAP test. The Niro got maximum car safety scores for front row occupants in the side impact and oblique pole tests plus maximum points in the upper and lower leg impact tests for pedestrians.

It also achieved full marks for its ability to actively avoid or mitigate a crash with another vehicle during an intersection turn. Kia Niro’s front design scored ‘benign’ in its frontal offset crash test. This means it presents a low risk to occupants of an oncoming struck vehicle.

PS: Still confused about all the different types? Here are different types of electric vehicles revealed.

This image shows a Kia Niro, one of the safest electric cars according to ANCAP car safety scores

Latest safest electric cars: Genesis GV60

The Genesis GV60 tested with solid scores too. This includes full points for protection of the front-seat passenger in the frontal offset test, the driver in the side impact test and for both child occupants in the frontal and side impact crash scenarios.

While still within the five-star threshold, the GV60’s overall Vulnerable Road User Protection car safety scores were somewhat lower than its segment counterparts, at 63%.  With testing how much protection the front bumper provided to a struck pedestrian’s lower legs, it achieved a ‘good’ rating. However, it scored ‘poor’ on protection of the pelvis, with just 0.45 points out of a possible 6. 

Check out more details on the safety performance of the Tesla Model Y, Kia Niro and Genesis GV60, here

Perhaps you’ve been debating electric vs petrol cars and preferring the former but don’t know where to start? Read this ‘Electric Cars 2023 – Expectations vs Reality‘ article for electric vs petrol car facts of 2023.

This image shows a Genesis GV60, one of the safest electric cars according to ANCAP car safety scores

The ultimate safety car net: Insurance

So now you know to make the ANCAP score one of the electric car questions to ask before you buy. Another must-do (in our opinion) is to take out insurance on your vehicle – whether it’s old or brand new. PD Insurance has a range of options to protect you financially in case your car is damaged or stolen.

Why not get a quick quote now?

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