2019 Audi E-tron is first EV to earn Top Safety Pick+ award


With results announced Wednesday, the 2019 Audi E-tron is the first fully electric vehicle to be named a Top Safety Pick+ from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

To be a Top Safety Pick+ award, vehicles must achieve top “Good” ratings in small overlap frontal, moderate overlap frontal, side impact, roof strength, and head restraint tests, as well as a top “Good” an “Advanced” or “Superior” rating for front crash prevention. 

Static LED headlamps with high-beam assist are standard equipment on the E-tron, and they earn that top “Good” rating.

Automatic emergency braking is also standard in the E-tron, and it earns the “Superior” rating from the IIHS. The E-tron stopped completely when approaching a barrier at 25 mph, and reduced its speed to 1 mph on average when approaching at 12 mph. The e-tron can initiate emergency braking at up to 52 mph for pedestrians and bicyclists, Audi says. 

2019 Audi e-tron battery pack

Audi designed its own battery pack for safety, and the 95-kwh pack in the E-tron has an internal honeycomb structure that separates cell modules and helps dissipate energy. Coolant runs underneath the pack, which helps make sure it won’t comingle with potentially overheated cells after an impact. 

The 2019 E-tron hasn’t yet been rated by the federal government and its five-star New Car Assessment Program. 

No other fully electric vehicle has yet earned the accolade from the IIHS. The Tesla Model S, which achieved five-star scores across the board in NCAP testing, earned an “Acceptable” rating in IIHS small overlap frontal testing and a “Poor” rating for headlights. 

The E-tron may not be alone on the Top Safety Pick+ list for long though, if the Tesla Model 3 can keep its safety performance up. The IIHS reports that it’s currently putting the Model 3 through testing.