The Renault Zoe is one of Europe’s top five best-selling electric vehicles, but this week we’re seeing its fall from grace. The new 2021 Renault Zoe just received a seriously abysmal 0/5 star safety rating by the European New Car Assessment Programme (NCAP), which is certainly bad news.
To make matters worse, previous versions of the vehicle dating back to the 2013 model were ‘awarded’ 5-stars, meaning somewhere during the latest redesign process, things went south quickly. As a result, this is only the third car ever to receive zero stars in Europe’s testing system.
Vehicles get measured for four main safety pillars: adult occupants, child occupants, vulnerable road users, and safety assist features. And while the first three weren’t awful, the “safety” aspect scored so low the vehicle received a zero overall.
While the new cute little Zoe received several battery improvements as of late, several changes affected safety. Additionally, it looks like these tests are getting more strict, given all the technology available to auto manufacturers these days. As an example, Zoe was penalized for not having standard active safety features, including automated emergency braking and lane-departure warnings, to name a few. However, it’s worth mentioning that select models in specific regions have these features, so it’s not all bad news.
Additionally, the seat-mounted side airbag, which previously protected the head and thorax, was replaced by a less effective thorax-only airbag, which lowered occupant protection.
The poor crash protection and lack of safety features like crash avoidance technology are the main reasons for the abysmal score.
In closing, we wanted to mention that Renault was quick to point out that its Zoe EV meets the latest European legislation standards. So while it’s not a rolling death-trap, it’s still concerning to see such a low score.