The Tesla Model S just hit it right out of the park, snagging the “best safety of any car tested” from the US National Highway Safety Traffic Administration. Tesla Motors proudly sent out the press release highlighting this accomplishment earlier today.
Tesla has managed to turn heads with the high-end styling of the Model S. It has captured a solid share of the luxury market right out of the gate, focused on competing for higher income drivers before it starts bringing out more affordable models. And with many accessories and lots of technology built into the car, it has certainly become a symbol of the high tech heights a car can aspire too. The acceleration, as an electric motor has all the potential torque available to it right away, delights speed freaks. Add to all that it’s no-gas operational ability, many people have moved to the Tesla not for its green credentials, but all the other features.
Consumer Reports had certified Tesla’s Model S as one of their highest ever rated cars. Now, with the NHSTA rating, Tesla can compete on a whole new level aside from green credentials: the safest car in the world.
Tesla blew the ratings so far out of the water that, according to their press release, “during validation of Model S roof crush protection at an independent commercial facility, the testing machine failed at just above 4 g’s.” The Tesla broke the testing equipment. Pretty hardcore. Tesla also noted that “During testing at an independent facility, the Model S refused to turn over via the normal methods and special means were needed to induce the car to roll.”
Tesla also pointed out that “The Model S lithium-ion battery did not catch fire at any time before, during or after the NHTSA testing. It is worth mentioning that no production Tesla lithium-ion battery has ever caught fire in the Model S or Roadster, despite several high speed impacts.” This is an extra concert that they’re trying to put to rest, spread by many anti-EV proponents: that the batteries in EVs are dangerous (more dangerous than a flammable gas tank?).
With this feather in their cap, Tesla is not just competing with fast, fun luxury vehicles, but eyeing markets dominated by the safety conscious brands like Volvo.