Tesla Model S Achieves 5-Star Euro NCAP Safety Rating (Images + Graphics + Video)


Tesla Model S Euro NCAP Results

Tesla Model S Euro NCAP Results

Tesla Model S Euro NCAP

Tesla Model S Euro NCAP

It was more than a year ago when the Tesla Model S became the world’s safest vehicle, as tested by the NHTSA.

Now, Euro NCAP (European New Car Assessment Program) has put the Model S through its safety-test wringer, concluding that the electric Tesla deserves a 5-star Euro NCAP rating too.

Here’s what Tesla Motors states of the Model S’ 5-star score from Euro NCAP:

Model S Achieves Euro NCAP 5-Star Safety Rating

We’re pleased to announce that the Tesla Model S has received a maximum-possible 5-star safety rating from the European New Car Assessment Programme (Euro NCAP).

Model S is one of just a few cars to have ever achieved a 5-star safety rating from both Euro NCAP and the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Additionally, Model S is the only car this year to have achieved both a 5-star Euro NCAP rating and 5 stars in every NHTSA subcategory, including frontal impact, side impact, and rollover. Only two other cars have earned the same recognition since 2011 (when NHTSA introduced its latest rating scheme).

The reason so few models achieve 5-star ratings in both Europe and the U.S. is that each program places emphasis on different safety aspects in the assessment process. NHTSA emphasizes structural and restraint safety, with a deep focus on how well the vehicle can withstand and absorb the energy of an impact while protecting its occupants. It is also primarily concerned with adult occupants. On the other hand, Euro NCAP assesses a wider range of scenarios, including tests for child and pedestrian safety. Unlike for NHTSA, active safety is also an important part of Euro NCAP’s 5-star requirement. Every year, the European organization raises the standard for a 5-star rating to account for technological advances in the industry.

The dual 5-star ratings for Model S validate our holistic approach to safety. We have been engineering passive and active safety systems in parallel, so the car is structurally sound and is also designed to intelligently anticipate and react to potentially dangerous situations.

Structurally, Model S has advantages not seen in conventional cars. It has a low center of gravity because its battery pack, the largest mass in the car, is positioned underneath the passenger compartment, making rollover extremely unlikely. It also has a large front crumple zone because of the lack of an engine, meaning it can absorb more energy from a frontal impact, the most common type of crash resulting in fatalities. Its body is reinforced with aluminum extrusions at strategic locations around the car, and the roof can withstand at least 4 g’s. It was for these reasons that Model S achieved 5 stars in every subcategory when tested by NHTSA in 2013.

This quarter, we started implementing the Model S active safety system in conjunction with the introduction of new Autopilot hardware, consisting of 12 ultrasonic sensors that sense up to 16 feet around the car, a forward-looking camera, a forward radar, and a digitally controlled, high-precision electric brake boost. We specifically selected this hardware to accommodate the progressive introduction of new safety features via software updates over the course of the next several months.

While the features already pushed to the Model S fleet – Lane Departure Warning and Speed Limit Warning – have proven sufficient to merit a 5-star NCAP rating, we will go much further with active safety systems. Features coming soon include Forward and Side Collision Warning and Avoidance, Blind Spot Warning, and Automatic Emergency Braking.

Safety has always been Tesla’s top priority, and we remain committed to continuously improving Model S to ensure that adults, children, and pedestrians alike receive the best possible protection from the car and its technology. In the meantime, Model S owners can be secure in the knowledge that this recognition from Euro NCAP reaffirms their car’s outstanding safety qualities.

And now it’s time to look upon the Euro NCAP results:

model s ncapmodel s ncap 2model s ncap 3

Let’s compare the Model S’ score to the other electric and hybrid vehicles tested by Euro NCAP:

Euro NCAP Results - EVs and Hybrids

Euro NCAP Results – EVs and Hybrids

Moving on to the ever-popular crash test video:

“Frontal Impact takes place at 64 Km/h, 40% of the width of the car striking a deformable barrier. In the side impact, a mobile deformable barrier impacts the driver’s door at 50 km/h. In the pole test, the car tested is propelled sideways at 29km/h into a rigid pole.”

And finally a few images from the crash tests:

Tesla Model S Euro NCAP

Tesla Model S Euro NCAP

Tesla Model S Euro NCAP

Tesla Model S Euro NCAP

Tesla Model S Euro NCAP

Tesla Model S Euro NCAP


Tesla Model S Euro NCAP

Categories: Crashed EVs

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19 Comments on "Tesla Model S Achieves 5-Star Euro NCAP Safety Rating (Images + Graphics + Video)"

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An excellent result, although from the table Volvo retains its crown as safest of all. The dynamic nature of standards testing in Europe means that there is plenty still to work on and aim at, but a fine result. On another note, in a different forum it was claimed that the P85D can be ordered without a lot of the fancy expensive bits, so bringing the premium down. Less of a time gap between the expensive and cheaper versions makes me significantly more optimistic on Tesla sales, as they ran for a long time at ~4,000 a quarter in the US and seem to be around half that in Europe, as Tesla themselves now acknowledge as they have downgraded Europe from ~33% of the market to 20% I understand. Chinese sales are a mystery wrapped in an enigma, but at any rate for a time sales of the 4WD in the snowbelt in the US should lift US sales enough to approximately cover the European shortfall, as well as stimulating sales in places like Norway. I still think they need to get the Model X out by around the start of the 3rd quarter to continue momentum My disagreement was… Read more »

Timely, since the anti-Tesla group was complaining the Model S was not tested by NCAP. 😉

You must have given the teens a laugh with your reaction to trick or treat pranks, if you take spoof sites with open mouthed credulity! 🙂

Its a wind up.

The Nissan Leaf did surprisingly well in this test. Also of note: for the adult passenger, pedestrian, and child, the i3 actually did better than the Volt also.

A terrific result for such a tiny car.

The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV was also pretty good save in pedestrian safety, a much neglected area.
I would expect the US bound model to have significant safety upgrades.

After seeing that now I’m understanding how the pedestrian safety thing works. No wonder the i3 (and other small cars) with it’s shorter hood did more poorly. If they get hit their heads basically hit the windshield. No bueno. Combine that with silent EVs and I can see how that’s troublesome.

One thing that confuses me is the safety assist. The i3 is loaded up the wazoo with high tech safety assist tech. Why are other cars that have less actually scoring higher? Just curious.

Also… give me a damn V60 PHEV or full BEV in the states!

Yeah the Leaf is a lot better than the Model S, except for pedestrians where they are equal. Was also surprised to see.

If it’s like the US test, the numbers scale depending on size class. So a 5 star for a smaller car is not the same as a 5 star for a bigger one.

They haven’t tested a 2013 or newer Leaf. While very similar, there were slight differences and the Leaf went from a 5 star to 4 in the U.S.

I always thought that red was too loud, anyway.

So you are one of the millions of people that likes basic generic boring colors. Got it

Red is the best color.

I feel sorry for you if you are afraid to stand out.

Any color that doesn’t stand out is a waste of a color

Its a proven fact the black plug-in cars not only have more range and accelerate quicker…but their owners are considerably more intelligent.


Only if they remember to plug them in! 🙂


The active bonnet is interesting, i did not know it had this system

I find it odd that the curtain airbags deploy in a front collision. I don’t recall the NHTSA test, but this has not been standard behavior for all tested cars under Euro NCAP.

The reason I kind of don’t like it is that it blocks visibility so, if the curtains deploy after a minor impact but you are still moving and have some control over the car you probably don’t want them there.

Of course one could argue that a top rated speed crash like this one, you want to throw in every safety barrier you’ve got. You certainly won’t be doing much driving after a 40 MPH or faster collision. My question is what the acceleration thresholds for the curtains actually are. Would they deploy at 20 MPH front impact too?

every accident is different, they just happened to deploy for a reason on this test.