Fleet Favorite EVs Earn Big Safety Accolades

An electric small SUV, the 2023 Kia EV6 earned a top safety honor from the Insurance Institute for Engineers for Highway Safety. Several other EVs have also received safety recognition.

Image: IIHS, Rivian, Audi/Canva

Electric vehicles (EVs) have been gaining popularity with fleet operators for some time. Environmental concerns are a factor. Research shows that 75% of the 200 largest US fleet operators – accounting for around 1.2 million vehicles – are committed to decarbonisation targets for public fleets, and many have started to invest, according to McKinsey & Company.

However, safety is another good reason to consider EVs for the fleet. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) conducted a preliminary insurance analysis of EVs versus identical conventional vehicles and found some key advantages.

“Electric vehicles are proving to be safer for passengers than identical conventional vehicles,” said Joseph Young, director of media relations at IIHS/HLDI. “In a recent study of insurance data, the Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI) found that injury insurance claim rates for EVs are about 40% lower than for identical conventional vehicles. This is likely because electric vehicles are heavier than conventional vehicles and that extra weight provides an advantage to those involved in multi-vehicle accidents.”

Young notes, however, that an EV’s extra weight can be detrimental to other vehicles in such a crash scenario. But apparently, EVs are up to snuff when it comes to enforcing safety standards.

For example, in 2022 the IIHS recognized several EVs with its prestigious safety award, giving them the vote of confidence automakers and fleet operators are looking for. Certain EVs that have garnered rave reviews are also models that benefit fleets

Here’s a roundup of EVs that not only save the environment, but can also save lives.

2023 will be the EV6

An electric small SUV, the 2023 Kia EV6 received a Top Safety Pick+ award from the IIHS. The arrival of the EV6 in 2022 – the brand’s first dedicated battery electric vehicle (BEV) – signals the launch of Kia’s “Plan S” strategy in the US, which aims to deliver 14 new electrified models worldwide by 2027. manufacturer

To earn either of the institute’s two awards in 2022, a car had to receive good ratings in six IIHS crashworthiness tests, including driver-side small overlap front, passenger-side small overlap front, moderate overlap front, real side, roof strength, and head. Sobriety test.

It must be available with a front crash prevention system that earns improved or higher ratings in both vehicle-to-vehicle and daytime vehicle-to-pedestrian evaluations.

Finally, to capture “Plus” status, good or acceptable headlights must be standard across all trims.

The Kia EV6 met every criterion for the IIHS Top Level Safety Award. After six crashworthiness tests, the EV received a superior rating for available frontal crash resistance — in both the vehicle-to-vehicle and daytime vehicle-to-pedestrian tests.

What’s more, all trims come with well-rated LED reflector headlights. However, some models sold as early as 2023 require headlight adjustment to qualify for the award. Kia notified affected customers by letter offering to make adjustments free of charge at its authorized dealerships.

According to the automaker, the EV6 is rated for an EPA-estimated 310-miles of all-electric range (AER) in Wind and GT-Line RWD trims and offers features like an onboard power generator and a flat-floor interior. The cabin uses innovative materials throughout. The EV6 offers a wide array of advanced driver assistance systems, which add a sophisticated level of connectivity and other features.

2022-23 Rivian R1T

A new electric large pickup, the 2022-23 Rivian R1T also snagged top safety honors from the IIHS. As a Top Safety Pick+ winner, the Rivian R1T passed six crashworthiness tests, earning good scores across the board.

In addition, the Crew Cab Pickup met all other requirements for the high-level award. For example, all trims come with well-rated LED projector headlights and a standard front crash prevention system that earned high ratings in both vehicle-to-vehicle and daytime vehicle-to-pedestrian tests.

2022 and 2023 Audi Q4 e-tron and Q4 Sportback

Two electric mid-size luxury SUVs from Audi also walked away with the Top Safety Pick+ award. Both the 2022 and 2023 model year Q4 e-tron and Q4 Sportback models meet the highest safety standards.

All models come with a standard front crash prevention system that earned a superior rating in the vehicle-to-vehicle evaluation and an improved rating in the daytime vehicle-to-pedestrian test. The two electric SUVs are available with good-rated LED projector headlights and acceptable-rated LED reflector headlights, depending on trim level.

The Q4 e-tron also offers cargo space comparable to the best-selling Audi Q5, the manufacturer noted. A number of standard safety and driver assistance features are included such as Audi Pre Sense, Audi Side Assist with Rear Cross Traffic Assist and Lane Departure Warning System. These systems, along with a robust battery structure, are designed to give drivers and passengers alike another reason to go electric with confidence and do so seamlessly, the automaker says.

2023 Genesis GV60 and 2023 Genesis Electrified G8

In 2022, the Genesis’ two EVs also took top honors from the IIHS. The 2023 Genesis GV60, a new electric small SUV, and the 2023 Genesis Electrified G8, a new electric large luxury car, both passed six crash tests with good scores.

Additionally, both EVs have standard front crash prevention systems that earned superior ratings in both vehicle-to-vehicle and daytime vehicle-to-pedestrian evaluations. As for the headlights, the GV60 boasts well-rated LED projector headlights that are standard on all trims. As for the electrified G80, all trims come with acceptable-rated LED projector headlights.


When choosing future EVs, fleet operators should always keep safety in mind. Fleets considering electric vehicles should look at many of the same things they would with conventional vehicles, Young notes.

“This includes comparing crash test and crash avoidance ratings, as well as buying as much crash avoidance technology as possible,” he says. “Technologies like automatic emergency braking, better headlights, lane departure warning, and rear-cross traffic alert are all proven to cut crashes.”

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