Nissan e-NV200 Electric Van Awarded Just Three Stars In EuroNCAP Safety Tests

Nissan’s recently-released all-electric variant to the popular NV200 people carrier — the e-NV200 Evalia — has been awarded just three out of five stars in EuroNCAP crash testing, making it one of the worst-performing plug-in vehicles to be tested by the safety organisation this year.

The e-NV200 fared well in passenger protection, but poorly for pedestrian and advanced safety features.

The e-NV200 fared well in passenger protection, but poorly for pedestrian and advanced safety features.

As the official Euro NCAP test result details, the five-seat e-NV200 Evalia received a total of 29 points (75 percent) for adult occupant protection and a total of 39 points (80 percent) for child occupant protection.

While adult occupant protection was considered generally adequate to good, EuroNCAP’s test team drew attention to the vehicle’s marginal whiplash protection, driver right leg protection and front passenger chest protection.

But the worst parts of the e-NV200 Evalia rating came from its poor performance in pedestrian safety tests combined with a lack of more than basic safety technologies.

Built around the NV200 commercial vehicle — which also received a three-star rating in last-year’s 2013 EuroNCAP test cycle — both the e-NV200 commercial and e-NV200 Evalia passenger-carrying variant have a boxy, upright design. As a consequence, while the vehicle’s bumper was generally adequate to good in pedestrian protection, the angular bonnet edge received and overall poor rating, resulting in an combined pedestrian rating of 22 points (60 percent).

It was the vehicle’s basic safety features which lost it the most points in the EuroNCAP rating system however, scoring just 5 points (38 percent) for its safety assist technologies.

In the side impact tests, the front passenger was at increased risk of chest injury.

In the side impact tests, the front passenger was at increased risk of chest injury.

Because the e-NV200 is primarily designed to be a commercial vehicle rather than a family car, the e-NV200 Evalia doesn’t feature many of the safety technologies you’d expect in a modern car, such as lane departure warning, city assist and electronic speed limiter.

While it does have a higher trim level than the five-seat e-NV200 Combi commercial vehicle then, the e-NV200 Evalia is still to all extents and purposes a commercial vehicle.

This low three-star crash test rating might not make much difference to fleet operators looking for a clean, affordable electric van, it may influence the buying decisions of private-hire taxi firms looking for a clean, green zero emission vehicle to add to their fleet. Since the e-NV200 Evalia’s primary market is likely to be private hire firms rather than private buyers, we’ll be interested to see how these latest crash test ratings impact sales.

Overall however, the latest tests are bad new for Nissan’s electric vehicle program. While the e-NV200 earns the same three-star rating from EuroNCAP as its gasoline-powered NV200 sibling, the e-NV200’s poor performance come just a month after the 2014 Nissan LEAF performed badly in the all-new small offset frontal impact test recently added to vehicle safety tests by the U.S. Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

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