A QUARTET of electric cars has scored top marks in the latest Euro NCAP safety tests.
They were among six models tested in the latest wave and include two Chinese built cars from Lynk & Co and Nio.
The other EV was from Audi with its Q4 e-tron while the hydrogen powered Toyota Mirai also gained a top five star rating.
The only conventionally powered car to gain top marks was the Subaru Outback while Ford's Kuga PHEV joined its purely combustion engined counterparts in the highest category.
Euro NCAP said that Lynk & Co is a brand that is new to Europe and its 01 model takes advantage of its Geely family connection to share its underpinnings with the Volvo XC40.
As a hybrid/plug-in hybrid small SUV it performs well all-round said the safety organisation but its 96 per cent score for adult occupant protection, including a maximum score for side impact, stood out as did a full set of active safety features.
The second Chinese car was the NIO ES8 which is currently on sale in Norway. The all-electric 6/7 seater, also gave a good account of itself, especially in the area of active safety. With excellent results for its autonomous emergency braking system and a full complement of other crash-avoidance features the NIO gains a 92 per cent score for Safety Assist.
Audi's Q4 e-tron performed as well as the VW-group cousins with which it shares the ubiquitous MEB platform and like the VW ID.4 and Škoda Enyaq the car gained a maximum five-star rating, reflecting solid all-round performance.
Toyota's Mirai is among the first cars to use a hydrogen fuel cell to produce the electricity needed to drive the electric motor and with a high-pressure tank storing the hydrogen, safety is of paramount importance.
Understanding that some consumers may be apprehensive about the technology, Euro NCAP paid extra attention to the crash and post-crash safety of the Mirai but found that the fact that it's powered by hydrogen had no effect on its inherent safety.
Euro NCAP's secretary general, Michiel van Ratingen, said: "Lynk & Co and NIO show that ‘Made in China' is not any longer a pejorative term when it comes to car safety.
"Here we have two new cars, both Chinese-developed, performing extremely well in our tests. It's clear that all manufacturers know that Euro NCAP will hold them to high standards if they want to sell cars in Europe and gratifying that they are prepared to make the investment to get the best safety ratings."
Euro NCAP praised the new Subaru Outback in the area of active safety with an outstanding score of 95 per cent for Safety Assist. Like the NIO, the car is equipped with a system which detects signs of fatigue or impairment directly from the driver's eye movements and combines this with steering behaviour to issue a warning when a break is needed. The Subaru and the NIO are among the first production cars to feature this innovative technology, which is expected to become more mainstream in the coming years.
"This round of tests highlights the direction in which car technology is moving," added van Ratingen.
"All but one of the cars are electrified in some way or another. The Mirai has hydrogen fuel cell technology. These are moves driven by a need for greater protection of the environment. But the cars also have some of the very latest active safety technology and this, too, is part of a trend that has been going on for some time and will continue to do so, to save lives on Europe's roads.
"The manufacturers of these cars don't ask you to choose between saving the planet or saving your family, and nor should you be asked to."