Published April 26, 2011
Consumers fed up with ever-rising gas prices may now have one more reason to buy a greener car.
Both the Chevy Volt and Nissan Leaf were top performers in recent crash tests, allowing their makers to boast of them being just as safe as their gas-guzzling counterparts. Joe Wiesenfelder, senior editor of Cars.com, said the electric cars have so much weight due to their batteries that they actually behave like heavier cars in crash tests.
"They behave like heavier cars, and in a crash that can be a good thing," Wiesenfelder told FOX Business Network’s Jeff Flock. "All other things being equal, heavier cars fare better in crashes."
The cars also fared very well in their rollover tests, Wiesenfelder said.
"It's all due to the battery," he said. "The roof strength has to be extra strong to account for the battery. The roofs are made extra strong to handle that situation, and even that doesn't seem to be buckling under the test."
FBN's Jeff Flock reported that although the cars did extremely well in their first crash tests, they are not yet available in all markets. The Nissan Leaf has 20,000 models allocated for the year, all of which have been pre-reserved.