Zero stars: One of Europe's best-selling electric cars gets a miserable safety rating
In their early years, electric cars were often frowned upon in terms of safety because their gigantic integrated batteries could supposedly explode in a possible car crash. After these doubts have figuratively taken a backseat in the minds of most consumers, a small EV from Europe still somehow managed to receive a devastating zero star safety rating in the latest NCAP crash test. Unfortunately, the affected model is not just any car, but the Renault Zoe, one of Europe's best-selling electric vehicles.
In terms of sales numbers, the Renault Zoe was the third most popular electric car in Europe in October 2021. But due to the new and stricter testing of the NCAP, the Zoe got bad safety ratings in way too many categories, even though the very similar 2013 Zoe was previously able to score a perfect 5 out of 5 stars. Especially the abysmal rating for the scarce safety assists are certainly disappointing for a technologically advanced EV, but the NCAP has also found that traditional safety measures like airbags have become worse. Renault apparently equips the Zoey with a cheaper and hence less effective side airbag.
This poor safety rating may also be traced back to the French company's strict cost-cutting program, which has been employed after an aggressive global expansion caused financial struggles. However, prospective EV buyers probably won't be happy to hear that apparently this has negatively affected the safety of Renault's cars like the Zoe, which due to its low curb weight and small size is already at a disadvantage when colliding with larger vehicles. Hopefully Renault will be able to upgrade the safety features of the Zoe as soon as possible. It has to be emphasized that the Renault Zoe still meets the European safety regulations, and will therefore remain on sale.