The European-made Tesla Model Y surprises in the Euro NCAP safety tests with an "almost perfect" result; the 5 stars are attributable to an impressive 97% adult occupant protection and 98% safety assistance. Tesla's electric SUV achieves all possible points thanks to the system that keeps you in lane, and the new driver monitoring system based on internal cameras.
According to the manufacturer, the European Tesla Model Y made in the Berlin Gigafactory in Germany "did not disappoint in the Euro NCAP tests and jumped to the top of the ranking of cars that have achieved the five stars of the European body". The greatest achievement that the Austin manufacturer highlights for its first European vehicle is the almost perfect result of 98 percent in the security assistance category, which the firm highlights to dispel doubts about camera-based security systems. The Tesla Model Y also achieved a 97 percent score for adult occupant protection.
Just as a reference, Euro NCAP is a voluntary vehicle safety rating system created by the Swedish Road Administration, the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile and International Consumer Research & Testing, backed by 14 members, and motoring & consumer organisations in several EU countries. They provide European consumers with information regarding the safety of passenger vehicles. In 1998, operations moved from London to Brussels.
The program is modeled after the New Car Assessment Program, introduced 1979 by the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Other areas with similar (but not identical) programs include Australia and New Zealand with ANCAP, Latin America with Latin NCAP and China with C-NCAP.
Testing is not mandatory, with vehicle models either being independently chosen by Euro NCAP or sponsored by the manufacturers. In Europe, new cars are certified as legal for sale under the Whole Vehicle Type Approval regimen that differs from Euro NCAP. According to Euro NCAP, "The frontal and side impact crash tests used by Euro NCAP are based on those used in European legislation".
However, much higher performance requirements are used by Euro NCAP; it also states that "Legislation sets a minimum compulsory standard whilst Euro NCAP is concerned with best possible current practice". Progress with vehicle safety legislation can be slow, particularly as all EU Member States’ views have to be taken into account. Also, once in place, legislation provides no further incentive to improve, whereas Euro NCAP provides a continuing incentive by regularly enhancing its assessment procedures to stimulate further improvements in vehicle safety".
The Model Y's Tesla Vision system built at the Berlin Gigafactory, purely based on cameras, works remarkably well at preventing collisions with other cars, cyclists, and pedestrians. The results in the other two main categories are also outstanding: in the "children protection" category it achieves an impressive 87%, and in "protection of vulnerable road users" category it also achieves a high score, 82%.
The general secretary of Euro NCAP, Michiel van Ratingen, has particularly congratulated Tesla for the results of the Model Y, which he describes as "really outstanding and unprecedented". Mr. Ratingen also added that Tesla has shown that only the best is good enough for the company, and that they "... hope to see them continue to aspire to that goal in the future".
The crash tests basically include: frontal impact test: a deformable barrier hits over 50% of the width of the car (both traveling at 50 km/h); frontal impact test: the car crashes into a full-width rigid barrier at 50 km/h; a side impact test: a mobile deformable barrier impacts the driver's door at 60 km/h; and a pole Test: the car is propelled laterally towards a rigid pole at 32 km/h.
In summary, the results of the Euro NCAP tests for the Tesla Model Y are as follows: Adult occupant protection: 97%; Child occupant protection: 87%; Protection of vulnerable road users: 82%; and Security assistance: 98%.
Source: Euro NCAP
All images courtesy of Tesla Inc.
Nico Caballero is the VP of Finance of Cogency Power, specializing in solar energy. He also holds a Diploma in Electric Cars from Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands, and enjoys doing research about Tesla and EV batteries. He can be reached at @NicoTorqueNews on Twitter. Nico covers Tesla and electric vehicle latest happenings at Torque News.