At this year's Detroit Auto Show, the Volvo C30 Electric hit the stage sporting battle scars from a standard offset collision crash test. The damaged C30, though not the most eye-catching car on display, did prove an important point: electric cars can be safe.
Protecting the C30's massive battery pack from sustaining damage during an offset frontal impact is impressive. However, there are other tests – for example, hitting a 3,300-pound side impact barrier at 31 miles per hour – that could pose a significant risk to the vehicle's lithium-ion battery pack as well.
Wisely, Volvo engineers added side reinforcement and crumple zones to the C30 and installed the battery in the core of the vehicle. Like most any vehicle subjected to a test like this, the electric Volvo emerged from the side impact test with some damage, but its battery pack survived the ordeal unscathed. Hop the jump to see Jan Ivarsson, Volvo's senior manager for safety strategy and requirements, explain the results of the crash.
[Source: All Cars Electric, YouTube]