By CBSMiami.com Team

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A growing number of electric vehicles are hitting the road and experts are now putting the e-powered cars through the paces to see how safe they are.

In crash tests to the front and the side, the 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E performed well, earning a Top Safety Pick award. The SUV is just one of several electric vehicles recently analyzed by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

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The Volvo XC40 Recharge, Audi e-tron, and Tesla Model 3 all earned the highest honor of Top Safety Pick+.

“These electric vehicles are performing just as well as the internal combustion engine models,” said David Harkey IIHS president.

Harkey calls the results encouraging since the manufacturing of electric cars is speeding up. Some automakers are planning to shift their fleets almost completely to e-power in the coming decades.

“It has really good protection when it comes to crashworthiness. And it has the same features when it comes to collision avoidance,” says Harkey.

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Electric cars also appear to perform better in the real world, protecting drivers and passengers. The Highway Loss Data Institute says injury claims for electric vehicles were about 40% lower than accidents involving identical gas-powered models.

“One of the reasons we think we are seeing that is because the weight of an electric vehicle is greater,” Harkey said.

E-powered cars weigh more because of the heavy batteries and research shows occupants in heavier vehicles experience less force in a crash, leading to fewer injuries.

“And so that’s good news for consumers. They can have confidence in purchasing an electric vehicle,” said Harkey.

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The IIHS will test more electric cars later this year to see if they also make the grade.

CBSMiami.com Team