The Chevrolet Volt and Nissan Leaf performed well in crash tests, scoring among the best in their class in safety.
The tests were conducted by the Insurance Institute For Highway Safety, which has performed studies like this for decades. The tests were the first conducted for electric vehicles.
Both cars earned Top Safety Pick designation for front, side, rear, and rollover crash protection. One of the contributing factors was the vehicle weight due to their battery packs.
The Chevrolet Volt, which went on sale this spring in Connecticut, is powered most of the time by an electric motor. The car also has a gas powered engine which charges the batteries, which in turn powers the electric motor. The Nissan Leaf has batteries which run an electric motor.