Chevy Volt Wins High Safety Rating

Chevrolet has announced that its much-talked-about Volt has received a five-star overall safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and been named the 2011 Top Safety Pick by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

The automaker claims that the Volt is the first electric vehicle to ever receive the highest possible score, and that the plug-in hybrid went through tougher standards than previous cars because crash-test standards recently changed in 2011. Part of the new tests include a side impact at 20 miles per hour with a 10-inch pole, as seen in the photo below.

image via Chevrolet

We recently reported that smaller, more fuel efficient vehicles are starting to receive excellent crash ratings, something that just a few years ago was often rare. The Volt, equipped with a 16 kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery, can travel in all-electric mode for 35 miles before the gasoline engine kicks over. Because of its extended range, the Volt may be a more marketable car than electric-only models like the Nissan Leaf, as we’ve noted that consumer fears can prevent some from purchasing an electric car.

It’s certainly nice to see a green car like the Volt receive excellent standards in safety, an issue that, as a GM spokesperson noted, is important to all drivers, regardless of environmental beliefs, but it’s not all sunny skies for eco-friendly vehicles. We recently noted that sales have dropped significantly, and that rising gas prices will only slightly change consumer opinion.

Aaron Colter is a freelance writer and marketing consultant in Portland, Oregon. A graduate of Purdue University, he has worked for the NCAA, Dark Horse Comics, Willamette Week, AOL, The Huffington Post, Top Shelf Productions, DigitalTrends, theMIX agency, SuicideGirls, EarthTechling, d'Errico Studios and others. He is also the co-founder of BananaStandMedia.com, a free record label, recording studio, and distribution service for independent musicians.