Electric vehicles shine in ANCAP safety tests

Three of Australia’s four newest five-star crash safety rated cars from Hyundai and Volvo are electric.

In a sign of the changing shape of the Australian new vehicle market, three of the four newest five-star crash safety rated cars from Hyundai and Volvo are electric vehicles (EVs). 

ANCAP recently released the details of its latest safety test, issuing five-star safety ratings for the Hyundai Ioniq 5 EV and two new alternative-powered variants of the Volvo XC40 – the T5 Recharge PHEV and T8 Recharge EV. 

The internal-combustion-powered Hyundai Tucson was the other new model to be awarded a five-star rating.

Launched in September, the Hyundai Ioniq 5 EV provides the full complement of active and passive safety features and technologies to enable it to score the top star rating, according to ANCAP. 

The Hyundai EV achieved high scores in the full width frontal test, which features two smaller-statured female crash test dummies; the side impact test, which simulates the effects of a T-bone intersection crash; and the oblique pole test, which evaluates the risk of head injury to the driver should the vehicle run off the road and strike a tree or pole.

The Ioniq 5’s design was also assessed for its ability to not only protect its occupants in a crash, but also the occupants of other vehicles it may collide with. 

ANCAP said the Ioniq 5 presented an impressively low risk to other vehicles, with a minimal 0.22 points penalty applied – the best score the safety body has recorded in this area since scoring was introduced in 2020.

"The Ioniq 5’s good measure of safety performance coupled with its green drivetrain provides families and fleet buyers with a good all-round choice," ANCAP Chief Executive Officer Carla Hoorweg said.

"We know safety and environmental performance are top-of-mind considerations for the majority of new car buyers today and it's pleasing to see Hyundai prioritise five-star safety in this new market offering."

Volvo’s newly released XC40 plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) and pure electric XC40 carry the same five-star ANCAP safety rating as awarded to the petrol and diesel-powered versions in 2018.

ANCAP said the rating extension followed additional testing undertaken on the XC40 T5 Recharge and T8 Recharge variants to ensure equivalent levels of safety performance.

"To ensure safety is not compromised for consumers wanting to buy an alternative-powered vehicle, for battery and hybrid electric vehicles we conduct additional checks to make sure they don't pose unique risks such as battery rupture or electrical hazards to the occupants or first responders," Ms Hoorweg added.

"This gives consumers peace-of-mind and assists fleet buyers in meeting their safety and environmental targets."

The conventionally powered Hyundai Tucson also achieved a five-star ANCAP safety rating following its release earlier this year.

ANCAP said the Tucson offered similar levels of safety performance to the Ioniq 5, noting that higher-grade variants featured a child presence detection (CPD) system, which provided an audible alert if movement was detected in the second-row seats after the ignition was turned off and the car locked. 

CPD systems will begin to be formally assessed by ANCAP and contribute to a vehicle's overall safety rating from 2023.

Click here for full details on the safety performance of the Hyundai IONIQ 5, Hyundai Tucson and Volvo XC40 Recharge.