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Hi - [I wasn't sure where to put this thread and put it in the Bolt area because the Bolt is a BEV, but I guess the Bolt does not have a frunk. Maybe I should request the thread be moved to the Tesla area?]

Given the dangers of head-on collisions, and in general concerns in vehicle crashes about intrusion into the passenger compartment of the engine area, I have been wondering for awhile now if BEVs equipped with Frunks are tending to fair better overall in safety in certain types of collisions. Do BEVs come out better than both ICVs and EREV/PHEVs?

Also, are there trade-offs based on locating the battery and how that may lead to passenger compartment intrusion? For example, if part of the battery is located in or near the trunk, then is the safety affected one way or the other in a rear-end collision and is there any emerging data to help see this?
 

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This why there are crash safety tests. To answer "how well does the car do in various crash scenarios?" The Bolt was given a Top Safety Pick rating by the IIHS. See details: http://www.iihs.org/iihs/ratings/vehicle/v/chevrolet/bolt-4-door-hatchback

The Chevrolet Bolt missed getting the Top Safety Pick Plus award because of poor (very bright) headlights. But the Tesla only earned an "Acceptable" rating in the Institute's difficult "small overlap" front crash test.

http://money.cnn.com/2017/06/20/autos/chevrolet-bolt-ev-top-safety-pick/

Frunk or no frunk is not the criteria, it's how the sum of how the car structure is designed, materials used, etc. The crash worthiness is a sum of the parts and design. In other words, having or not having a frunk by itself does not increase or decrease crash safety. In the same way, unless a LIon battery is used as a bumper or door, battery location by itself is not the sole determining factor of crash safety.

 

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Many Tesla users I have met seem to think that crumple zones are something only on a Tesla since they have an empty frunk. Crumple zones have been a thing since the 80s and employed by every car. Since the 90s manufacturers have spent a lot of money improving crash safety, especially in offset collisions which often led to fatalities.

In a traditional ICE car, the engine is designed to break off and submarine under the car, it has a very controlled motion. Those offset crash tests they have been using since the 90s have led to cars being very strong in the passenger compartment preventing much intrusion from the engine, tires, etc.

Since manufacturers have become so good at protecting from full width and partial overlap of 35% or so, the IIHS started testing small overlap to encourage manufacturers to reinforce all the way out to the edge of the car, so those are like 10% overlap. The Tesla actually didn't do well at this as Steverino points out.

Bottom line is the Tesla tests very average in Euro NCAP tests, some cars are better, some are worse. However, pretty much any modern car does well in crash tests. I wouldn't restrict myself from a car with or without a frunk, it isn't going to make a difference in crash safety, the overall car design is important.

A point to make though, is the heaviest car wins in a crash, almost always, so Tesla will tend to fair well there since they are very large cars weighing around 5000 lbs. At least the Model S/X.
 
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