These Are the Safest Electric Vehicles That You Can Buy Now in the U.S.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) awarded this year’s Top Safety Pick and Top Safety Pick+ awards to the safest vehicles sold in the U.S. We are glad to see that most of the fully-electric vehicles on sale on the American market are in the top tier although there’s a notable absence that might sadden the fans.
Tesla Model Y is one of the safest vehicles in the U.S. according to IIHS 7 photos
The safest vehicles in the U.S. according to IIHSThe safest vehicles in the U.S. according to IIHSThe safest vehicles in the U.S. according to IIHSThe safest vehicles in the U.S. according to IIHSThe safest vehicles in the U.S. according to IIHSThe safest vehicles in the U.S. according to IIHS
Sixty-five vehicles were awarded the Top Safety Pick+ by IIHS in 2022, while another 36 earned the Top Safety Pick designation. This is a remarkable improvement compared to 2021, when there were only 90 winners and only 49 in the top tier category. We found eight EVs among the 65 safest vehicles of the 2022 class, compared with only three last year. Notably, those three are also present on this year's list.

In order to receive the Top Safety Pick+ award, a vehicle had to get a “Good” score in all six IIHS crash-test categories and an “Advanced” or “Superior” rating for its front-crash prevention systems. This applies to both vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-pedestrian scenarios. Also, the headlights must receive a “Good” or “Acceptable” rating as standard equipment.

Before we present the winners of this year’s Top Safety Pick+, we must say that not all-electric vehicles on the market today got assessed by IIHS. First, the electric pickup trucks will only be subjected to IIHS tests starting next year. So no Rivian R1T or GMC Hummer EV at the moment. And secondly, there are EVs that only recently entered the market, and IIHS hasn’t got the chance to test them. We put Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Kia EV6 in this category.

Tesla Model 3 won the top spot in the Midsize Luxury Cars category with a top “Good” score in all crashworthiness tests except the small overlap front/driver-side subcategory, where it got an “Acceptable” rating for the lower foot/thigh. The same rating was awarded for the child seat anchors because they are not that easy to latch.

The safest vehicles in the U\.S\. according to IIHS
Just like its smaller brother, Tesla Model Y earned top “Good” ratings in all six crashworthiness categories and also got the top “Superior” rating for its crash avoidance systems. The notable difference is in the headlights department. More specifically, it earns a top “Good” rating for the LED projector headlights featured in the Model Y Performance and “Acceptable” for LED reflector headlights in other versions.

Volvo XC40 Recharge and Volvo C40 Recharge are basically the same vehicles, the C40 version designating the coupe. In terms of protection offered to its passengers, the two electric models from Volvo are a notch below the Tesla duo, with “Acceptable” ratings for the child seat anchors, lower leg/foot injuries in small overlap front/passenger-side test, and driver’s torso in the side impact test. They also got only “Advanced” for the vehicle-to-pedestrian collision prevention systems.

Just like the Volvos, the Audi e-tron and e-tron Sportback are brothers, with the Sportback version being, in fact, the coupe in this case. The passengers’ protection is top-notch, with “Good” ratings in all categories, while the crash avoidance systems have been rated “Superior.” The headlights were mixed, with an “Acceptable” rating for the Prestige trim and “Good” for the Premium and Premium Plus trims.

The safest vehicles in the U\.S\. according to IIHS
The Volkswagen ID.4 offers the same “Good” ratings in each category related to crash protection as their Audi cousins, but they are one step behind when it comes to vehicle-to-pedestrian crash prevention systems. Depending on the trim, the headlights were rated “Acceptable” (for the Pro trim) or “Good” for the Pro S.

Finally, Hyundai Nexo is not a battery-electric vehicle like the others on the list but still runs on electricity produced by its hydrogen fuel cell. In terms of crash protection, the Nexo received “Good” overall ratings to the main six categories, although it achieves only “Acceptable” for Structure and safety cage, lower leg/foot, passenger restraints, and dummy kinematics. The vehicle-to-pedestrian crash prevention was also rated “Advanced,” having some troubles in the crossing child category.

The one model that is missing from the list, despite its huge popularity, is the Ford Mustang Mach-E. The electric pony fell into the lower Top Safety Pick category because the headlights on the Select and California Route 1 trim levels received only a lower “Marginal” rating.


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