As manufacturers continue to improve the range of hybrid and plug-in electric vehicles, more people are choosing them over their gasoline-powered counterparts to lower their fuel costs. But just how safe are these new platforms?
Well, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety announced in December in a press release the Chevrolet Volt and Toyota Prius Prime hybrids received the organizations 2017 Top Safety Pick+ honors. As for EVs, the IIHS tested the Tesla Model S and BMW i3, both of which fell short of the qualifications for a Top Safety Pick.
“There’s no reason the most efficient vehicles can’t also be among the safest,” David Zuby, IIHS executive vice president and chief research officer, said in a statement. “We hope Tesla and BMW will continue to refine the designs of their electric models to maximize driver protection and, especially in the case of Tesla, improve their headlights.”
This by no means is the first time the IIHS has expressed concerns over a vehicle’s headlights. We can only hope the fact that it keeps identifying deficiencies will cause regulators to take notice and amend the U.S.’s headlight regulations.
Considering how novel EVs still are, we’re not surprised they have niggles that must be sorted out. That said, it’s reassuring there were just a few very specific areas in which BMW and Tesla need to improve.