Eight electric cars were among the 65 models recognized with the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's (IIHS) highest Top Safety Pick+ award for 2022.
Released Thursday, the list includes the Tesla Model 3 and Model Y, Volvo XC40 Recharge and C40 Recharge, Volkswagen ID.4, and Audi E-Tron and E-Tron Sportback. Note that the C40 Recharge and E-Tron Sportback are "coupe" versions of the XC40 Recharge and E-Tron, respectively.
To receive a Top Safety Pick+ rating, vehicles must get the top "Good" score in all six IIHS crash-test categories, an "Advanced" or "Superior" rating for available front-crash prevention tech in both vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-pedestrian scenarios, and headlights with a "Good" or "Acceptable" rating as standard equipment.
The Hyundai Nexo hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle was named a Top Safety Pick+ as well, while the Ford Mustang Mach-E received the second-tier Top Safety Pick award. The Mach-E missed out on the added "plus" because headlights on the Select and California Route 1 trim levels received a lower "Marginal" rating.
The next year will likely bring the first safety ratings for fully electric pickups as the first models start to ramp up production. The Rivian R1T and GMC Hummer EV have already started limited production, with the Ford F-150 Lightning expected to follow in the coming months. A tougher side-impact test is expected as well.
IIHS safety ratings allow shoppers to make informed decisions about the relative safety of vehicles by showing which ones go above and beyond the minimums spelled out in regulations. Now we need a group to do for emissions what the IIHS does for safety.