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Mercedes-Benz conducts public crash test between two EVs

Mercedes-Benz has become the first car manufacturer to publicly conduct a frontal offset crash between two electric vehicles.

The German automaker said the test, which was carried out in Sindelfingen, Germany, went “above and beyond” not only the legal requirements but also those of the ratings industry.

Euro NCAP stipulates a frontal impact test using a 1,400kg trolley with an aluminium honeycomb barrier replicating the front of another vehicle. In accordance with the specifications, the test vehicle and the trolley collide with an overlap and at a speed of 50km/h.

Mercedes-Benz, however, used two real vehicles, an EQA and an EQS SUV, which are significantly heavier at around 2.2 and three tonnes, respectively. In addition, both models were travelling faster, each going 56km/h, which meant that the overall crash energy was considerably higher than required by law.

According to Mercedes-Benz, the vehicles’ extensive deformation following the collision may seem alarming to the non-expert, but for its engineers, it showed that the vehicles were able to effectively absorb the energy of the collision by deforming.

As a result, the passenger safety cell of both electric models remained intact and the doors could still be opened. In an emergency, this would make it possible for occupants to exit the vehicle on their own or for first responders and rescue personnel to reach them.

The high-voltage system in the EQA and the EQS SUV switched off automatically during the collision, Mercedes-Benz stated.

The car maker also said that the crash test demonstrated its ability make cars “that hold up not only in defined crash test scenarios, but also in real-life accidents”.

“The test scenario involving a speed of 56 km/h and 50 per cent frontal overlap corresponds to a type of accident common on rural roads, for example during a failed overtaking manoeuvre. The speed selected for the test takes into account that, in a real-life accident, the drivers would still try to brake before the worst case of a collision,” Mercedes-Benz said in its press release.