Mitsubishi's innovative i-MiEV electric vehicle has been awarded a 4-Star Crash Safety Rating this week by the Australasian New Car Assessment Program.
Described by ANCAP Chair Lauchlan McIntosh as a "good outcome," the i-MiEV's 4-Star rating follows cooperative testing by Japan NCAP and ANCAP at Japan's JARI crash test laboratory.
Despite achieving a high overall score, the i-MiEV managed only a 10.95 rating out of 16 in the frontal offset crash test - although this is not an unusual figure for 'sub-light' cars, with Holden's new Barina Spark scoring 11.02 in the same test.
He urged manufacturers of other “green” vehicles to aim for a 5-star rating.
“ANCAP supports and welcomes the push for greener vehicles, but we stress the need to ensure safety is built in to the vehicle,” Mr McIntosh said.
Mr McIntosh said that it was pleasing that Mitsubishi has made electronic stability control (ESC) and head-protecting side curtain airbags standard on the Australian i-MiEV, so far ahead of the 2011 Federal mandate for ESC.
About the i-MiEV
Powered by a 47kW/180Nm electric motor and fed power by a 330-volt lithium-ion battery pack, the i-MiEV can travel up to 160km on a single charge.
Mitsubishi initially built just 2000 i-MiEV cars in 2009, growing by another 5000 this year.
There are currently a limited number of i-MiEV cars in Australia, all of them in the hands of select corporate and government customers taking part in a wide-reaching test programme.
By 2015, Mitsubishi expects to be producing 30,000 units each year, with a wider Australian availability to private buyers forming part of the company's local plans.