Crash test shows Nissan Leaf wrap around pole at 47 mph

The violet impact was orchestrated to evaluate EVs versus traditional cars.

German vehicle inspection company DEKRA has released a video showing a 2010-2017 Nissan Leaf slammed into a pole from the side at high speed.

The crash was conducted at 47 mph, much faster than the standard side-collision tests performed for government New Car Assessment Program tests. The Leaf consequently folds around the pole, crushing far into the cabin.

The company conducted the evaluation to help determine how electric vehicles hold up in such scenarios compared to traditional internal-combustion cars. The Leaf integrates its battery under the floor.

"The damage patterns from the crash tests are comparable to those on conventionally powered vehicles," says DEKRA accident researcher Markus Egelhaaf. "The high-voltage system of the electric vehicles was shut down reliably during the crash. And despite massive deformation of the drive battery, there was no fire."

DEKRA noted that hitting a tree sideways at such speeds would still be "hard to survive," regardless of the type of powertrain.

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