Mercedes-Benz has conducted what it claims is the world’s first public EV-to-EV head-on crash test, which exceeded legal requirements and Euro NCAP standards.
The company said Euro NCAP stipulates a frontal impact test between the vehicle and a 1,400 kg trolley with an aluminium honeycomb barrier, which replicates the front of the other vehicle, with a 50 per cent overlap at a collision speed of 50 km/h.
However, Mercedes-Benz used an EQA and an EQS SUV, which weigh 2.2 tonnes and three tonnes respectively. Additionally, both models travelled at 56 km/h, meaning the overall crash energy was considerably higher than required by law or Euro NCAP.
According to Mercedes-Benz, the passenger safety cell of both electric models remained intact, and the doors could be opened. In an emergency, this would make it possible for occupants to exit the vehicle on their own or for first responders to reach them. Additionally, the high-voltage systems switched off automatically during the collision.
The company said that the test scenario corresponds with common accidents on rural roads, such as a failed overtaking manoeuvre. The speed selected for the test considers that in a real-life accident, the drivers would brake before the cars collided.
Markus Schaefer, Member of the Board of Management of Mercedes-Benz Group and Chief Technology Officer, said the crash test “proves that all our vehicles have an equally high level of safety, no matter what technology drives them”.
Mercedes-Benz said it developed a multi-stage high-voltage protection concept for its electric vehicles, featuring eight key elements that ensure the safety of the battery and components having a voltage above 60 volts. Examples include separate positive and negative wiring and a self-monitoring high-voltage system that automatically switches off in the event of a serious collision.