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When you assume of a head-on collision involving two cars and trucks, what comes to brain? Screeching tires, mangled metallic, a environment of harm, and with any luck , survival thanks to optimized crumple zones and solid protection cells, correct? What about when you assume of a crash in between two electric cars? Perfectly, as Mercedes is demonstrating with a new crash test involving an EQA and an EQS SUV, it’s… really substantially the very same.
“Mercedes-Benz electric powered autos are every single little bit as protected as all other types from the manufacturer with the star,” reads the brand’s push launch headline. Even now, let’s look at some EVs crash head-on with 1 an additional, shall we? Possibly we’ll learn a little something.
Mercedes’ examination is like a choreographed dance of airbags, crumpled metal, and seatbelts – all established to a dramatic new music score. It is the form of crash you’d want to enjoy with a bag of popcorn (from a harmless length, of class). See this epic movie I set collectively from their press footage below.
Likely the Additional Mile (For every Hour)
Euro NCAP says, “Hey, let us crash-check a car or truck at 31 mph,” and Mercedes-Benz responds with, “That’s adorable, but how about 35 mph?” Not only did the business increase a pair of miles to the industry’s conventional frontal impact test, but it employed as a crashing-unit a real automobile in its place of the standard trolley with a honeycomb barrier.
We have observed some equivalent tests executed by the Insurance coverage Institute for Highway Safety, with the most famed a person becoming 1959 Chevy Bel Air vs. 2009 Chevy Malibu:
Like all electrical SUVs, the Mercedes’ EQA and EQS are no lightweights at 4,800 and 6,600 pounds, respectively. That’s the heavyweight bout of the century, and the collision vitality was off the charts! A quarter century in the past, these types of big and significant SUVs may possibly have crumpled and twisted like a pretzel, but the new Mercedes’ passenger protection cells stayed as safe as a vault, and the doorways nonetheless opened following the take a look at. That means if you at any time come across oneself in a pickle, then you can probably just wiggle out of the wreckage or let the heroic very first responders reach you.
Oh, and also essential to EV crash checks is the fact that the superior-voltage devices shut off instantly initial responders are almost certainly heading to be really thankful for that provided the problems fire departments have had placing EV fires out.
Mercedes talks about why 108 pound, 4 foot 11 crash dummies had been utilised in the driver’s seats of every automobile:
Another aim of the crash take a look at was the kind of dummy that the safety experts positioned in the driver’s seat of both autos – the Hybrid III 5th Percentile Female, which is the female dummy at the moment employed in the automotive business for frontal collision assessments. It corresponds to a female of approximately 1.5 meters tall (4 ft 11 inches tall) and weighing all over 49 kilograms (108 lbs). In accordance to the fundamental statistics, only five p.c of women of all ages throughout the world are more compact or lighter. For quite a few many years, Mercedes-Benz has utilised frontal crash tests with fifth percentile feminine dummies1 in the entrance seat to design and style its safety devices for the widest doable assortment of consumers. Rankings by purchaser security associations as effectively as various lawful prerequisites globally now include things like specifications for tests with fifth percentile woman dummies. An additional fifth percentile female was a passenger in the EQA. In the passenger seat of the EQS SUV was a Hybrid III 50th Percentile dummy, symbolizing a 78-kilogram (172 lbs) male of normal top.
Mercedes breaks down its high-voltage basic safety hardware in its press launch, creating:
Mercedes-Benz has created a multi-stage superior-voltage protection principle for its electrical vehicles. The process has eight crucial components to ensure the safety of the battery and all components with a voltage over 60 volts. Illustrations include separate beneficial and destructive wiring and a self-monitoring significant-voltage procedure that quickly switches off in the occasion of a significant collision.
[Editor’s Note: I’m a little baffled by the “separate positive and negative wiring” thing, because doesn’t pretty much any electronic device have separate positive and negative wiring? If you don’t, that’s how you get short-circuits. My guess is they mean the positive and negative lines are well-isolated, so in a crash they don’t ground together and short out and turn those wires into a heating element. I think? – JT]
So, what have we learned nowadays? Mercedes-Benz’s head-on collision of two electric powered cars evidently signifies a technological milestone (” the world’s very first community crash take a look at involving two entirely electric motor vehicles,” per Mercedes), and also your subsequent aspiration family vacation should really be to their Know-how Centre for Car Safety in Sindelfingen. With a entire roster of crunchy machines, they conduct up to 900 crash tests and 1,700 sled tests on a yearly basis. Bring the popcorn.
[Ed Note: OK, so this post was mostly done because 1. We wanted to add a video to our video player, which we’re still populating and 2. Watching cars crash is fun and 2. Plus, there actually is some gold in here. First, check out Mercedes’ own video:
I mean, come on! Look at this beautiful screenshot of the simulation Mercedes did for the crash test between the two vehicles. You can bet engineers did some Finite Element Analysis (which is defined by CAD software developer AutoCAD as “a computerized method for predicting how a product reacts to real-world forces, vibration, heat, fluid flow, and other physical effects”):
It’s cool to see the individual components in the crash; I see seats, cooling modules, an air conditioning compressor, ABS pumps — let us know what you see.
There’s also this little nugget from Mercedes passive safety engineer Julia Hinners, explaining why cars are often painted Orange for crash tests:
“We take this orange color because, when we first started doing crash tests, it was just black and white filming, and on the black and white films, this orange color was the best contrast.”
Huh… after seeing scores of orange-painted-car crash test, I’d never thought of that. I did a bit of research and found that Danish engineering firm Bruel and Kjaer did a writeup on Volvo’s then-new Volvo Cars Safety Center in Sweden (this was around the year 2000). Here’s what the writeup says about orange paint:
[Test engineer at Volvo’s safety center] Patrik Settergren explains, “Each test vehicle is a total manufacturing product, accurately as it would be witnessed by a customer”. He proceeds, “We have a special preparing spot the place all around 25 men and women are utilized and it takes us about 10 times to prepare every motor vehicle.” Volvo paints it is check cars and trucks matt orange. We have observed that this is the finest colour for filming the checks as it offers obvious photos from the superior velocity cameras”.
Patrik suggests, “The digital cameras document the crash at 1000 frames a 2nd. We also position cameras on the floor and below glass flooring to document the underside of the vehicle for the duration of a crash. We use exclusive large-electricity lamps which simulate daylight and we have uncovered that the orange paint lowers reflections from the lamps and offers the greatest benefits.”
Fascinating things! -DT]
[Note: Therese is a fantastically capable video editor and process-improvement specialist. As this was her first story for The Autopian, the piece was co-written by David Tracy.]