Tesla Crash Test Perfect Score Clears Hurdles For Electric Car Maker

Nathan Francis

Tesla had a crash test score better than any automobile ever tested, but the news was more than just good publicity for Elon Musk and company.

The Tesla Motors Model S electric car earned a five-star rating in government crash tests, but actually did even better than that. The National Highway Safety Administration grades the same way a teacher would, with letter grades to signify where on a 100-point scale a student falls. A student who receives a 95 and another who receives a 99 would both get an A.

In the case of the Tesla crash test, the five-star rating is like an A. But when it comes to the specific number score, Tesla registered the best of all time.

"Of all vehicles tested, including every major make and model approved for sale in the United States, the Model S set a new record for the lowest likelihood of injury to occupants," Tesla said in its statement.

The company said the car is designed with safety in mind. There is no gasoline engine under the hood, so car makers built the front to serve as a zone simply to absorb the impact of collisions.

The Tesla crash test also scored high in side impact and rollover resistance. Even the hardest turns could not flip the car, and testers eventually had to use "special means" to get it to flip over.

For Tesla, the crash test will lend a bit more legitimacy to what so far has been a question mark for investors and car buyers. The company is still relatively small in its field, turning its first profit this spring with $11 million in net income.

In the spring the company was still struggling to hit its peak production of 400 cars per month. But the Tesla crash test could clear up the questions surrounding the electric car, and lead the way for greater production of the Model S.

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