The European New Car Assessment Programme (NCAP) has published the results of its crash test of the 2014 BMW i3, in which the new EV Bimmer scored four out of five possible stars. While that might not sound so bad, it does compare unfavorably with other popular plug-ins such as the Volt, LEAF and Model S, all of which earned five-star ratings.
According to Euro NCAP, “In the side barrier test, the i3 scored maximum points, with good protection of all body regions. In the more severe side pole impact, dummy readings of rib compression indicated that protection of the chest was weak. The front seats and head restraints provided marginal protection against whiplash in the event of a rear-end collision.”
Just in case anyone was wondering, BMW responded to the less-than-perfect score stating that the i3’s deficiencies have nothing to do with its extensive use of ultralight carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP), or its bottom-mounted battery pack.
“An extremely rigid passenger cell made from carbon-fibre-reinforced plastic (CFRP) and the precise interplay of its restraint systems allowed the BMW i3 to record outstanding results for adult occupant and child occupant protection in the Euro NCAP crash test. The testers noted an exceptionally low risk of injury in both front and side impacts, as well as in the Pole Side Impact test. Particularly striking here was the low degree of deformation in the CFRP passenger cell, which also enhances the effectiveness of the restraint systems.”