The Chevrolet Volt and Nissan Leaf got top safety ratings in some of the first-ever tests of electric cars by an insurer-funded research group.
Both cars earned top scores for front, side and rear-impact crashes and for rollover crash protection, according to results from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
While both the Leaf and Volt are classified as small cars, the institute said their heavy battery packs put their weight closer to large sedans. The Volt, for example, weighs 3,760 pounds, which is close to the weight of the Chevrolet Impala. The Leaf weighs 3,370 pounds, which is similar to a Nissan Altima midsize car. That extra mass helps protect their occupants, since heavier cars are less likely to be pushed around in a crash.
The Leaf runs solely on battery power and has a range of around 100 miles. The Volt can go around 40 miles on an electric charge before a small gas engine kicks in. Read more: http://www.insurancejournal.com/news/national/2011/04/27/196399.htm
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