Hyundai New Kona Crash/Euroencap Test
Electric vehicles are too heavy, which can negatively affect the results of road accidents between them and cars and other road users. That's what the European safety organization, Euroencap, warns today, repeating messages made earlier this year by the IIHS, the institute of insurance companies in the United States that also conducts independent crash tests.
This is being published together with the results of the crash tests for 11 new cars, two of which are already sold in Israel, and eight more are scheduled to arrive in 2024. These include the Exfeng G9, BMW 5 Series, BYD Tang and Sil-U, Honda ZR-V, VinFast VF8, Hyundai Kona, Mercedes SUV EQE, Smart #3, Volkswagen ID.7 and Kia EV9.
"It seems encouraging that most of them are electric vehicles, but they also reflect a worrying trend in consumer demand for heavier, more powerful and taller cars, which not only endanger other drivers but also negatively impact the environment.Of the 11 new cars rated, only three weigh less than two tonnes, and only one, Smart #3, is classified as a family car," the organization notes in its report.
Dr. Michael van Ratingen, the organization's secretary-general, was even more blunt. "For years, Euroencap has been accused of increasing the weight of cars. It was thought that additional safety features meant more mass. This has never really been the case and the increase in vehicle weight we're seeing today is certainly not related to safety – it's due to consumer preference for larger vehicles and electrification, with increasingly larger batteries being used to calm consumers' range anxiety. But it's a trend that doesn't help either safety or the environment: big, heavy cars are generally less energy efficient than small, light cars, and there's a safety concern when these two types of vehicles collide, or worse, when vulnerable road users are involved."
Only four stars also for the Vietnamese VinFast VF8 on Israel/Euroencap Road
And for the results: Although four of the cars tested are Chinese, all those that failed to get a 5-star score come from other countries. Although this is not a low score, or cars that are not safe, in recent years most examinees manage to achieve the maximum score, and the exceptions are those that do not.
Honda ZR-V: The new hybrid crossover, which is not currently planned to arrive in Israel, received only 4 stars. It lost its fifth star due to its performance in both its crash tests and its active safety system tests.
VF8 VinFast: The Vietnamese startup's electric crossover, which is scheduled to arrive in Israel in 2024, also received only 4 stars, also due to danger from the dashboard and insufficient restraint of collision energy in a head-on collision. On the other hand, in the other sections, the vehicle received high scores, in the first crash test of the new manufacturer.
Hyundai Kona: Hyundai's bestseller, which is already sold here in hybrid and gasoline versions and is due to arrive next year in an electric version as well, also received only 4 stars. The testers noted the danger of being hit from the dashboard and sliding the "body" of the test dummies under the seat belt during a forward collision.
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The Honda ZR-V also received only four stars, but is not currently scheduled to come to us/Euroencap
The rest of the cars received the maximum score, including the 7-seater electric BYD Tang, which is already sold in Israel and will arrive in 2024 after a facelift and the manufacturer's Sil-U, a new electric crossover that will compete with the Hyundai Ioniq 5 and the Tesla Model Y. The new Kia EV9, also a large 7-seater electric crossover, which will arrive in the first quarter of 2024, also received the maximum score, as did the Mercedes EQE SUV, Another electric crossover being tested.
The Xpeng G9, launched last month, received five stars despite concerns that a female driver's pelvis would be hit head-on, and insufficient protection for pedestrians' heads. The Volkswagen ID.7, finally an electric sedan rather than a crossover, coming to us next year, scored high in all categories, including 95% for adult protection. The new BMW 5 Series, already sold in Israel, was close to Volkswagen in secondary scores and received 5 stars like it.
Smart #3 is the second model of the renewable brand, which has been controlled by China's Geely with Mercedes as a minority shareholder, and is now focused like the rest of the world on electric crossovers. The #3 lost points in a side-to-side collision that caused the driver's and passenger's heads in front to collide, but still met the criteria for the prestigious five-star designation.
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