Mitsubishi i-MiEV gets rated by Euro NCAP and receives 4 stars

Article by Christian Andrei, on February 24, 2011

The four-star rating given by Euro NCAP to the electric plug-in vehicle, the Mitsubishi i-MiEV, proves that safety doesn’t need to be compromised in zero-emissions vehicles. The i-MiEV has the same rating as its twin models, the Citroën C-Zero and Peugeot iOn, which have the same design and safety equipment.

According to Dr Michiel van Ratingen, Euro NCAP’s Secretary General, Mitsubishi’s efforts to demonstrate that plug-in battery powered cars can be as safe as others were recognized. Van Ratingen said that this shows that a future 5 star rating for EVs is possible.

He added that whether a vehicle is built by established carmakers or by new players on the market, consumers should expect to get electric vehicles that meet the same safety standards as conventional vehicles.

Euro NCAP tests plug-in vehicles with live batteries and these cars are subjected to the same test conditions as the other cars in the program.

Euro NCAP places special attention to post-crash battery integrity and the proper functioning of the battery cut-off switch that isolates the high-voltage battery in the event of a crash.

Extra precautions are taken before, during, and after testing, which is only done at laboratories with specially-trained personnel.

Service plugs are removed during vehicle preparation and extra fire-fighting measures are taken to guarantee the safety of laboratory personnel and equipment. Tests done on the i-MiEV detected no electrical or fire hazards.

Press Release

HE MITSUBISHI i-MiEV BECOMES THE FIRST EV TO BE TESTED AND EARNS A 4-STAR RATING AT EURO NCAP 2011

When first launched in Japan in July 2009, the Mitsubishi i-MiEV became the first electric car in regular series production from a major manufacturer, available to world markets. Today, it also becomes the first electric vehicle to be crash-tested by the renowned Euro NCAP organization: a milestone further enhanced by a 4-star rating / new protocol.1

Going mainstream

Excellent as such, this result vindicates the view Mitsubishi Motors took when developing this next frontier vehicle: whilst ambitious in its technology, it shall remain mainstream in its daily use whether through the ease of driving, the performance and the convenience it offers.

Obviously, this includes the guarantee of a level of passive & active safety similar to that of an IC-engined car - the direct result of a thorough development process accumulated over 500,000 km of testing that only a major manufacturer like Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC) could commit.

Integrity

Making the best use of MMC’s advanced mid-ship architecture, i-MiEV is powered by a compact and lightweight motor and a pack of high-energy density lithium-ion batteries safely located within a long 2.55 m wheelbase.

In this respect, Euro NCAP’s comments on the integrity of i-MiEV are eloquent: “No problems were experienced with the high voltage electrical system which powers the vehicle: the battery was properly isolated from the body shell and was not damaged during the tests.”

Recently launched in 15 European countries, the Mitsubishi i-MiEV has already surpassed MMC’s sales expectations in the region (about 3,000 units shipped as of end of January 2011) and with highlights including # 1 spot in the A-Segment in Norway. This year shall see a further introduction, in North America.

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