National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has just posted the crash and rollover resistance safety test results for Tesla Model Y electric SUV. The current tests were conducted on the Model Y AWD Long Range and the Standard Range variants.
Tesla Model Y has earned an overall 5-Star safety rating from the government body after rigorous testing (videos below).
NHTSA also tested the 7-Seat Model Y in addition to the older 5-seat variant, both of these cars performed exceptionally in Frontal Crash, Side Crash, and Rollover safety tests.
The results from the NHTSA website show that Tesla Model Y Standard RWD is currently not evaluated for the Rollover test but it would be dull to think the results would be any different from the Long Range AWD version.
Since NHTSA does not release crash test videos on its official YouTube channel, the content gets scattered to several videos, I have tried to find and put together every video and piece of information here.
Tesla also posted the following detailed blog post after NHTSA’s announcement of the Model Y 5-Star safety results.
Since the launch of the Model S in 2012, we have engineered every Tesla around the same advanced architecture that maximizes occupant safety. Today, Model Y, Tesla’s mid-size Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV), is the latest Tesla vehicle to earn a 5-star safety rating in every category from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
As part of their 2020 New Car Assessment Program, NHTSA tested Model Y Long Range All-Wheel Drive (AWD). We expect similar results for all Model Y variants, including our Performance AWD and single motor, rear-wheel drive variants in the future.
What makes Model Y safe?
Model 3 and Model Y were developed largely on the same platform, and this shared architecture is fundamental to both vehicles’ safety. To accommodate its higher mass and larger cabin space as an SUV, Model Y’s body structure is fortified and strengthened even further than Model 3 in pursuit of its 5-star safety rating.
At its core, in the event of a collision, Model Y is engineered to distribute crash forces around the cabin and away from vehicle occupants, greatly reducing the risk of injury. Our front and rear crumple zones and optimized side structures enable Model Y to manage crash energy very efficiently, reducing accelerations on the vehicle and, more critically, its occupants.
Additionally, Model Y’s structure now includes the world’s largest casting. Along with a fortified battery pack, these elements mitigate intrusion into the cabin, creating a robust safety cell with enough room for our advanced restraint systems to deploy and provide even more occupant protection.
Rollovers significantly increase the risk of injury during an accident. To calculate rollover resistance in NHTSA’s test, Model Y is parked on a suspended platform that rotates in all directions to physically measure the center of gravity and moments of inertia. NHTSA’s assessment determined that Model Y has a rollover risk of 7.9%, the lowest of any SUV recorded to date by the organization.
As with all Tesla vehicles, Model Y’s architecture is fundamentally designed to have a very low center of gravity, which is accomplished by strategically placing its heavy battery pack and electric motors low down in the vehicle.
Safety is at the core of every Tesla vehicle, and Model Y benefits from years of immense passion for vehicle safety. Every Tesla comes standard with advanced crash-avoidance and pedestrian protection features, including Automatic Emergency Braking, Lane Departure Warning, and Forward Collision Warning, among others. By providing the most advanced equipment and technologies, our goal is to help customers prevent avoidable accidents whenever possible, and, when they are not avoidable, to help mitigate injury to the fullest extent possible. Indeed, we believe Model Y to be among the safest vehicles available to consumers on the road.Source: Tesla official blog.
Electric vehicles and especially Teslas have a high rollover resistance as we can witness in the video above, this happens mainly due to the optimal center of gravity. The heavy battery pack spanning the entire vehicle floor keeps and EV more bound to the ground as compared to a front or rear engine ICE car.
The rigid battery pack also acts as a resistance block against a penetrating or hitting object from the side. Tesla Model Y aces the Side Pole crash test as well. Looking at the side-by-side side pole crash test comparison with a Lexus UX 200, Tesla Model Y shows better protection in a similar scenario. The body frame of the Model Y also stays better intact compared to the ICE Lexus. The result will remain more or less the same against any non-EV in a side pole crash test.
Tesla Model Y Crash Safety Test Videos
I find the frontal crash test captured video from the bottom of the vehicle particularly interesting in which the empty front trunk acts as a large crumple zone to better absorb the impact. The front-drive unit is placed at the height of the suspension as opposed to an engine in a traditional car that travels towards the passenger cabin in case of a front collision.
Tesla electric cars not just have 5-star safety for the occupants but they also have the lowest probability of injury of all the vehicles ever tested by the NHTSA.