Could the Tesla Model S be the world’s safest car?

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In recent American testing, the Tesla Model S, an electric car, earned the highest safety rating ever awarded, according to the manufacturer. Tesla, who are based in the Californian town of Palo Alto are claiming that their luxury electric vehicle gained a combined record of 5.4 stars from the independent tests carried out by the NHTSA, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Although the NHTSA never publish a star rating above a 5, which is the maximum, they provide detailed figures to manufacturers and Tesla are claiming that their Model S has set the new record for the least likelihood of any occupants suffering an injury. Tesla says that the fact that the electric motor is rear mounted in the Model S is what gives it an advantage over its rivals in the luxury saloon market. It is the absence of a large, front mounted engine that makes it possible for Tesla to absorb impacts better with the creation of a longer ‘crumple’ zone.

In the tests for side pole intrusion, 63.5% of the residual space for the driver was preserved, and Tesla says this is thanks to the side rails containing aluminium extrusions which are multi impact resistant and employ a similar technology to that used in the Apollo Lunar Lander. The Model S, according to Tesla, also offers considerably better protection should the car roll over. During the independent test, the car, via the usual methods used in testing, refused to roll over, and Tesla say this is due to the battery pack being mounted on the floor which gives the car a very low centre of gravity.

There are many more claims Tesla are making about various tests the Model S passed with not so much flying as soaring colours. There is no reason to disbelieve any of their claims, and it is very possible that the title of world’s safest car does indeed belong to the Tesla Model S.