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NIO ET5 and EL7 Get Five-Star Ratings in Euro NCAP's Tougher 2023 Safety Tests

Chinese EV startup NIO was the first to test its models under Euro NCAP's tougher 2023 safety tests. The ET5 sedan and EL7 SUV were awarded a five-star rating, underlining the big ambitions of the Chinese brand.
NIO sets the bar high in Euro NCAP’s tests 23 photos
Photo: Euro NCAP
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Euro NCAP introduced more stringent safety tests for the 2023 testing protocol, making it harder to achieve the coveted five-star rating. To stand a chance in the tougher safety tests, new vehicles must feature new child presence detection systems. The 2023 protocol also includes specifications for vehicle submergence and requires the latest technologies to detect and respond to motorcyclists and vulnerable road users.

Both electric vehicles demonstrated outstanding active and passive safety qualities. The ET5 and EL7 offered good protection for the knees and femurs of both the driver and the passenger, as well as occupants of different sizes sitting in various positions within the car. The Chinese EVs also showed the fast pace that Active Safety technology has taken over the years in avoiding ever-increasing complex crash types.

NIO is one of the first car manufacturers to include an ultra-long-range LiDAR sensor on its vehicles. The sensor is roof-mounted above the windscreen in what NIO calls the watch tower position. This enables it to operate over a long-range, aiding performance at high speed by offering a better view of the road ahead. Although the sensor will prove helpful for autonomous driving in the future, it also provides benefits in everyday driving, improving the capabilities of the Collision Avoidance system. That's how NIO EVs achieved their high Safety Assist scores.

NIO ET5 and EL7 were the first models tested under the brand-new Euro NCAP Active Safety scenarios, introduced in 2023. These are Car-to-Motorcycle, Car-to-Car Crossing, Car-to-Car Head-on, Dooring, and Driver State Monitoring. Both the ET5 and the EL7 delivered exceptional performance in most test cases.

Still, not all was rosy, as Euro NCAP's press release emphasized. Despite the advanced sensors, both cars faltered in challenging scenarios such as Car-to-Car Crossing at higher speeds. This suggests that there is still room for improvement, although both NIO and 2023 safety tests being so new, it was somehow expected. This still leaves the bar high for the automakers testing their vehicles in the upcoming months.

Both NIO models feature an eCall system, which automatically alerts emergency services in the event of a crash. It can transmit relevant information such as location, time of the crash, and the car's VIN. This helps first responders speed up response time and save lives. Both NIO ET5 and EL7 have a system that applies the brakes after an impact to avoid secondary collisions. NIO also demonstrated that if either of the vehicles entered the water, the doors and windows would remain functional long enough to allow the occupants to escape.

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About the author: Cristian Agatie
Cristian Agatie profile photo

After his childhood dream of becoming a "tractor operator" didn't pan out, Cristian turned to journalism, first in print and later moving to online media. His top interests are electric vehicles and new energy solutions.
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