Back in April we heard that the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety had awarded both the 2011 Nissan Leaf and 2011 Chevrolet Volt its highest possible award for safety - the IIHS Top Safety Pick. 

Now Chevrolet's plug-in hybrid has passed the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) safety tests, gaining five stars for overall vehicle safety and yet again proving that plug-in cars are just as safe as their gasoline counterparts. 

For many years the NHTSA safety ratings have helped consumers chose a safe car to buy, but over the past few years the majority of cars were achieving the highest possible safety rating. To combat this and better represent the range of vehicle safety measures now available on cars, the NHTSA has recently added additional impact tests to help it more accurately test cars. 

2011 Chevrolet Volt in IIHS crash test

2011 Chevrolet Volt in IIHS crash test

While the Volt could have done better - loosing a few points on passenger safety tests - it did pass the Federal government’s rollover test with flying colors thanks to its low center of gravity. 

The Chevrolet Volt is the first mainstream production plug-in car to receive its NHTSA rating, but expect its forecourt rival, the all-electric 2011 Nissan Leaf, to receive its own rating any day.