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PHOTO CAPTION: Ford Focus EV illustration showing location of electric-drive components.

Ford Focus EV Earns NHTSA Five-Star Rating

The added weight of the batteries in electric cars like the Focus EV helps in a crash with a similar sized car with a gasoline drive.

Published: 08-Feb-2013

The Ford Focus Electric has been tested by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and earned a five-star Overall Vehicle Score. This rating was the result of the car’s participation in the New Car Assessment Program done by NHTSA. NHTSA and the Insurance Institute For Highway Safety (IIHS) are the two organizations that test vehicles in the United States. Both offer a comprehensive test that gives buyers an understanding of how their new car might rank compared to others like it in that class of vehicles. That the Ford Focus Electric is a completely modern electric vehicle, and has passed this test, shows once again that electric drivetrain equipped vehicles are just that – modern safe vehicles that just happen to not have a liquid fuel engine on board.

The Ford Focus Electric, like all new cars, was built to be marketed as a safe vehicle. Ford engineered new airbag technology into the driver’s protection area. The tether that helps to configure the airbags shape when deployed was changed to allow for more space in the lower section where the driver’s lower torso would normally impact the bag. This is not necessary and could lead to injury, so the change helps focus the airbag’s protection where it is intended, the upper body and head. Like all new cars the Focus Electric will have stability control, anti-lock brakes, airbags galore, and the front and side passenger protection will have been engineered to score well on the NHTSA and IIHS crash tests. Steve Kenner, global director of the Ford Automotive Safety Office said in a press release today that “As more people shop for electrified vehicles, the Focus Electric now offers both a top vehicle safety rating from NHTSA and a faster-charging technology that allows it to fully recharge in three to four hours.”

Early in the evolution of mainstream electrified vehicles, many doubters wondered if there was more risk of fire or other types of injury from electric drive cars like hybrids, plug-in hybrids, and fully electric cars. This has not proven to be the case and many electric car advocates point our (correctly) that 15 gallons of extremely flammable liquid fuel under one’s seat is likely more cause for concern than a battery that adds 500 pounds of mass to an electric car. Like all new products any fires or other hazards that resulted from any electric car vehicle receive more than their due of media coverage. “Car crashes, no fire and nobody hurt” is not typically a lead news story.

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