The Tata Nexon made headlines in December 2018 when it became India’s first car to get a full, 5-star safety rating from Global NCAP. But does the same rating apply to the Tata Nexon EV?
The Tata Nexon EV looks identical, however, cloaked in the same body shell is a whole new componentry. What’s under the hood and on the floor is completely different. Technically, it’s illogical to consider the Tata Nexon EV and the Tata Nexon as the same product, and the safety rating of the ICE model cannot apply to the EV.
While Tata Motors hasn’t sent out a Nexon EV to Global NCAP (manufacturers can invite GNCAP to their facility to pick out a car for a crash test which is then shipped to their facility) for obtaining a safety rating from the agency, it is expected to have taken all the measures to ensure passenger safety similar to the level of the Tata Nexon. The high safety ratings for existing models in the last few years has motivated the company to focus strongly on the safety aspect and market itself as a highly safety-focused automaker in country.
The star ratings have also proved to be a differentiator and will gradually reflect in sales as awareness around vehicle safety builds up in the country. It is not necessary for manufacturers to get their cars certified by GNCAP to sell in India.
Video Source: youtube.com/Global NCAP
Anand Kulkarni, Product Line Director – EV & ALFA Architecture, Tata Motors (PVBU), recently talked about the various safety measures the company took for the Tata Nexon EV during its development. In an interaction with PluginIndia on Instagram, Kulkarni revealed that the company performed a crash test for the Tata Nexon EV internally, Tata Motors is among the few companies in India that has a crash test facility within its R&D complex:
Whether it is a EV or whether it is a IC engine, there are certain mandatory tests that a car has to achieve, in terms of frontal crash, side impact, rear impact, all of these things, and the Nexon EV has met all those crashes and it has qualified very very nicely. So, what we look at is, in terms of frontal impact, under frontal-offset impact, whether the occupant space, which is where the occupant sits, whether that is protected or not, and it protects the entire space beautifully.Anand Kulkarni, Product Line Director – EV & ALFA Architecture, Tata Motors (PVBU)
Kulkarni also suggested that the same set of components on the electric variant could have different programming to respond differently. Tata Motors ran some torture tests new electric SUV to ensure that it is safe enough before putting it into the market.
We actually, and I said this at the time of launch, that we actually ran a separate programme where specific elements were further reinforced in order to cater for the additional mass of the batteries and the potential energy that would have to be absorbed when the impact happens. It also has a separate set of algorithms and calibrations running for the airbags, the ABS, all of these things.
Additionally, because the batteries are one of the most important things, we do what is called as abusive tests also. So, batteries stay submerged underwater (during the tests). We have subjected these batteries to fire pond tests, which is you actually put these batteries into a pond of fire and make sure that they sort of behave in a proper manner, don’t misbehave, so to say. So, all of these things were done to make sure that the entire package is absolutely safe.Anand Kulkarni, Product Line Director – EV & ALFA Architecture, Tata Motors (PVBU)
Tata Motors has not said whether it would send the Nexon EV and Altroz EV to Global NCAP but with the competition in the EV market set to rise in the coming years, the company could be planning to get these tested to given them an edge over competitors.
Does the Tata Nexon EV have a 5-star Global NCAP safety rating?
No, the Tata Nexon’s 5-star safety rating from Global NCAP doesn’t apply to the Nexon EV.