Tesla Model 3: Elon Musk Shares Electric Car’s Perfect NHTSA Safety Rating
The results are in, and it’s good news for the Tesla Model 3. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced on Thursday that it has awarded Tesla’s cheapest-ever electric car, with a starting price of $35,000, a full five-star rating in every single category.
The new report continues the perfect ratings given to the Tesla Model S sedan and Tesla Model X sports utility vehicle. The agency’s test of the Model 3 simulated a head-on crash between two cars moving at 35 mph (two sets of five stars), an intersection collision between a vehicle and a barrier moving at 38.5 mph (two sets of five stars), a crash into a fixed object like a tree (five stars), and the risk of rollover when losing control (no dynamic tip, 6.6 percent rollover resistance, five stars).
Tesla’s vehicles have crushed agency ratings across the board, perhaps in part due to the front trunk providing a large crumple zone. Musk noted in a June 2017 earnings call that “for death or serious injury for S or an X you really have to — it’s hard to do that…the Model S and the X have such a long crumple zone that’s two to three times longer than a conventional automotive car that’s got a big engine steel block in there.”
Musk has also referenced the Model 3’s high safety engineering when the car was first unveiled at the July 2017 handover event. Comparing it to the Volvo S60, he noted that the engineers aimed for a design that was “light, but also affordable.” With these test results over a year later, it seems their work has paid off.
Tesla is expected to unveil the Model Y, a cheaper sports utility vehicle alternative to the Model X, around spring next year. Musk has jokingly said he would introduce the car around the Ides of March, or March 15.
The company could be on the verge of bringing these high levels of safety to more consumers.