It scored the five-star safety ranking in a fresh round of NCAP testing in Europe that includes the first results for an electric car - a four-star score for the Mitsubishi iMiEV.
The Citroen C-Zero and Peugeot's iOn, which share the basic design of the iMiEV, also got a four-star score. In other results, the Hyundai ix20 - a baby MPV under consideration for local sales - also got five stars and the bargain Dacia Duster was a three-star disappointment.
The Mitsubishi result with the iMiEV wins praise from the head of Euro NCAP, Dr Michiel van Ratingen, "We recognize the efforts done by Mitsubishi to demonstrate that plug- in battery powered cars can be as safe as others.
It shows that a future 5 star accolade for EVs is not unthinkable," he says. "Whether produced by established car manufacturers or by new players on the market, consumers should expect to get electric vehicles that meet the same safety standards as conventional vehicles."
Euro NCAP confirms its real-world emphasis by testing the iMiEV with 'live' batteries, also emphasising the post-crash battery integrity and operation of the battery cut-off switch. At the same time as the latest European results, the Kia Optima - already one of the surprising delights in Australia in 2010 - became the first Korean car to achieve the highest safety rating from the National Highway Transport Safety Administration in the USA. It gets a five-star ranking under a system that includes tougher new crash tests.