The Statement Behind Mercedes EV Crash Test Footage

Mercedes EV

People love watching things they never want to experience in real life. Take shootouts, car chases, or car crashes, for instance. There’s a simple reason for this – these are all exciting spectacles if you don’t have to live with any of their consequences. Because then it’s traumatizing, not exciting.

But what if you could see a car crash staged by professional carmakers?

And what if it wasn’t just any old car crash? What if it was the first publicly staged car crash involving two electric vehicles (EVs)?

Well, if that sounds exciting to you – you’re in luck – because that’s precisely what Mercedes-Benz did. They orchestrated two of their EVs, an EQS SUV and an EAQ, colliding into each other at 35 miles per hour in a testing facility.

Their crash test illuminated two crucial things (while reiterating our firmly held belief that being in a car crash would not be fun.)

Protection Is The Name of The Game

Even though the statistical likelihood of an EV catching fire is lower than that of an internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicle, EV fires are impossible to extinguish. Hence, they are potentially more dangerous than ICE fires.

While various factors can contribute to an EV battery combusting, an EV battery sustaining damage (like in a car crash) is most likely to set the stage for an EV fire.

That’s why it’s so imperative that EVs are designed in ways that provide optimal protection to their batteries. EV batteries need to remain untouched in a crash to be considered safe. Even a dented EV battery case could be a sign that it’s dangerous. And that danger might not come to fruition right away either – because EV battery fires are chemical fires that can’t be easily predicted.

An EV battery might spontaneously combust days or weeks after damage. It’s why the fire department in Copenhagen, Denmark, loads EVs that have been involved in severe accidents into a container that they pump full of cool water and then let the damaged and potentially explosive battery cool down for weeks until it’s deemed to no longer be a fire hazard.

So, statement one of this EV crash test from the esteemed German Automaker is: we know how to protect our batteries.

While the batteries on both cars were reportedly fine, the vehicles themselves looked totaled. For example, the EAQ, which is the smaller of the two vehicles by far (it’s around 1,700 pounds lighter than the EQS), had its front left wheel torn off upon impact, and the rear of its hood shot into its windshield, shattering it.

However, the crash test dummies in each vehicle did not sustain significant injuries, according to Mercedes. And they reportedly had each dummy hooked up to around 150 devices measuring the impact, so that report seems reliable.

It’s also worth noting that the 35 miles per hour speed that Mercedes used for this crash is faster than what government agencies use for their test standards – which brings us to statement two from Mercedes: we know how to protect our passengers. (Though for their asking prices, should Mercedes be doing anything less?)

Author: Jarret Hendrickson

Title: Writer

Expertise: Automotive Industry News, Film, Drama, and Creative Writing.