We may be at the tipping point, after which electric vehicles are no longer feared as unsafe to drive on the highway: The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety today announced it is awarding both the Chevy Volt and the Nissan LEAF its highest safety ratings. Both cars performed well in front, side, and rear crash tests, were equipped with electronic stability control, and demonstrated good roof strength.
“The milestone demonstrates that automakers are using the same safety engineering in new electric cars as they do in gasoline-powered vehicles,” the institute said in a statement. “The Volt and Leaf earn the top rating of good for front, side, rear, and rollover crash protection. With standard electronic stability control, they qualify as winners of Top Safety Pick, the institute’s award for state-of-the-art crash protection.” Of the 80 IIHS top picks so far this year, 12 have come from GM, while 3 were built by Nissan.