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New Leaf earns five stars in tougher NCAP tests

The new Nissan Leaf has scored a five-star result in Euro NCAP’s more stringent crash safety ratings.

The new Nissan Leaf is the first car to be tested under Euro NCAP's tougher assessments for 2018

The new Nissan Leaf is the first car to be tested under Euro NCAP’s tougher assessments for 2018

The crash safety testing organisation has introduced a number of new assessments this year which address key crash scenarios involving cars, pedestrians as well as cyclists – including testing the ability of Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) technology to detect cyclists; of particular importance for near-silent running electric vehicles.

Matthew Avery, director of research at Thatcham Research – a member of Euro NCAP since 2004, commented: “Safety campaigners have raised concerns about noise, or rather the lack of it, in fully electrified vehicles – especially in urban driving environments. This is why standard-fit AEB systems that can detect Vulnerable Road Users should be fundamental to any electric vehicle’s suite of safety technologies – as the Nissan Leaf demonstrates.”

The new Euro NCAP tests mean that carmakers will struggle to get five-star ratings without AEB technology that can protect vulnerable road users.

Other Euro NCAP rating updates for 2018 include testing of pedestrian detection in darkness and obscure lighting conditions and verifying Emergency Lane Keeping systems are working correctly.

Receiving the same five-star rating as the original model – which was the first all-electric car to get five stars – the new Nissan Leaf scored 93% in adult occupant protection, 86% for child occupant, 71% for vulnerable road users, which replaces the previous pedestrian rating, and 71% for safety assist.

Euro NCAP said the Leaf demonstrates that “environmental friendliness need not come at the expense of improved safety”.

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for nearly 20 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. Natalie edits all the Fleet World websites and newsletters, and loves to hear about any latest industry news.