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Tata Punch and Nexon score perfect 5 in first BNCAP EV crash test

The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has introduced an indigenous star-rating system for crash-testing cars

Tata motors EV, electric vehicle

Photo: Company website

Nitin Kumar New Delhi

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India’s leading electric four-wheeler manufacturer, Tata Motors, has achieved a 5-star rating for its Punch.ev and Nexon.ev battery electric vehicles (EVs) in the Bharat NCAP crash test results. The home-grown EV manufacturer has become the first company to receive certification under the Indian New Car Assessment Program, commonly referred to as BNCAP.

This programme conducts crash tests and assesses safety features and technologies, providing a simple star rating to indicate relative safety performance.

“We welcome stricter government safety standards and are proud to be the first manufacturer to lead the BNCAP protocol with superlative results. We are delighted to produce India’s safest vehicle — an EV — in the Punch.ev, while the Nexon.ev continues its legacy of safety with its 5-star rating,” said Shailesh Chandra, managing director, Tata Passenger Electric Mobility and Tata Motors Passenger Vehicles.

Tata Harrier and Safari sport utility vehicles also became the first cars in India to receive a 5-star safety rating from BNCAP in December last year.

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The Punch.ev achieved the highest score point ever recorded by any vehicle to date, scoring 31.46 out of 32 for adult occupant protection (AOP) and 45 out of 49 for child occupant protection (COP), the company reported.

The Nexon.ev also scored impressively, with 29.86 out of 32 for AOP and 44.95 out of 49 for COP.

Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari wrote in a post on X, “Congratulations to @tataev @TataMotors for achieving a 5-star BNCAP rating for the Punch.ev and Nexon.ev, thus becoming the first ever 5-star-rated EVs in the Indian automotive market.”

He emphasised that as EVs shape the future of mobility in India, a strong BNCAP rating serves as an invaluable tool for consumers in choosing safer vehicles, highlighting the high level of safety provided to vehicle occupants.

The test

The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has introduced an indigenous star-rating system for crash-testing cars.

Under this system, vehicles will receive between one and five stars, indicating their safety in a collision. Known as BNCAP, this voluntary rating system was implemented on October 1, 2023.

Under BNCAP, cars nominated voluntarily by automobile manufacturers will undergo crash tests based on protocols outlined in the soon-to-be-published Automotive Industry Standard 197.

The programme applies to passenger vehicles with up to eight seats (including the driver’s seat) and a gross vehicle weight not exceeding 3,500 kilograms. Only the base model of each variant will be tested.

Cars receive ratings between one and five stars after evaluation on three parameters: AOP, COP, and safety assist technologies present in the vehicle.

The first two parameters are determined through three distinct tests, including a frontal offset test where a vehicle drives at 64 kilometres per hour (kph) with a 40 per cent overlap into a deformable barrier simulating a head-on collision, and other tests like the side impact test at 50 kph and the pole side impact test, where a car crashes sideways into a rigid pole at 29 kph.

The testing protocols adopted by BNCAP are modelled after Global NCAP, a project of the UK-based NGO Towards Zero Foundation.

During its launch last August, Gadkari emphasised that BNCAP will play a critical role in making India’s automotive industry self-reliant and in positioning India as the world’s leading automobile hub.

Despite government investments in infrastructure, road accidents in India continue to rise alarmingly.

In 2022 alone, there were over 460,000 mishaps resulting in the loss of 168,491 lives — an all-time high, according to the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways’ annual report on road accidents released on Tuesday.

States and Union Territories reported 461,312 incidents in 2022, causing injuries to 443,366 people. This marked an 11.9 per cent increase in accidents, 9.4 per cent in fatalities, and 15.3 per cent in injuries compared to 2021.

With inputs from Deepak Patel

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First Published: Jun 13 2024 | 9:39 PM IST

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