Perhaps the most critical one.
Not everyone is convinced that pure electric vehicles are safe, with battery-related fires proving to be serious concerns. Will those batteries explode following a serious crash? Are fire departments properly equipped to extinguish them? These are valid questions but there's one thing that can now be confirmed: the Ford Mustang Mach-E has passed the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's rigorous tests, earning itself that coveted Top Safety Pick award.
Earning this score was no small feat. Any vehicle tested by the IIHS must achieve a 'Good' score in six separate crash tests: driver- and passenger-side small overlap, moderate overlap front, side, roof strength, and head restraints.
A vehicle's headlights must also earn a 'Good' or 'Acceptable' grade while its front crash-prevention technology needs to work in vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-pedestrian situations with either an 'Advanced' or 'Superior' score.
The Mustang Mach-E, however, did not earn the highest Top Safety Pick Plus rating for one reason: the headlights. The optional LED projector lights on the Premium, GT, and First Edition models earned a 'Good' score, but the LED reflector assemblies on the lower trim Select and California Route 1 models only got a 'Marginal' rating. The IIHS says this results in inadequate illumination on some curvy road situations. Nevertheless, as you can see in the included video crash test, the sacrificed Mach-E didn't catch on fire and its dummy passenger was surrounded by airbags that deployed without a hitch on impact.
Along with the crash tests, the IIHS analyzed insurance information regarding EVs like the Mach-E and found that injury claims have been 40 percent lower than they were for identical conventional models. This study looked at electric and conventional versions of nine models from 2011 to 2019 and also examined collision and property damage liability. So, why are EVs safer compared to ICE vehicles? "Occupants of heavier vehicles are exposed to lower forces in multivehicle crashes."
The Mach-E has a curb weight of 4,516 pounds. A similarly-sized Mazda CX-5, to compare, weighs 3,691 pounds. If Ford decides to upgrade the Mach-E's lights for future model years, then it's highly likely to get the IIHS's highest rating possible, a fact that'll help win over even more customers.