The 2011 Chevrolet Volt has become the first electric vehicle to earn a five-star overall vehicle score for safety as part of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s New Car Assessment Program.

“Safety is a key consideration for all buyers no matter how a car is powered – gas, or in the case of the Volt, electricity,” said Doug Parks, Volt global vehicle line executive.

The Volt also has been named a 2011 Top Safety Pick by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

Fully charged, the Volt’s batteries will take the car about 35 miles on electric power only. When the batteries are discharged, a small, 1.4-liter gasoline engine starts automatically to recharge the batteries. With this engine, the car has virtually unlimited range. On a single eight-gallon tank, its estimated range is about 340 miles.

The vehicle also offers GM’s StabiliTrak electronic stability control system, front-, side- , knee- air bags as well as roof-mounted head-curtain air bags, an optional rear view camera system featuring a display integrated into the navigation system screen, a five-year subscription to OnStar’s Directions and Connections Plan including Automatic Crash Response, stolen vehicle assistance and connected navigation.

Starting with 2011 models, NHTSA introduced tougher tests and more rigorous requirements for its five-star safety ratings program that provide more comprehensive information about safety performance and crash-avoidance technologies. Changes include a new side pole test simulating a 20-mph side-impact crash into a 10-inch-diameter pole or tree at a 75-degree angle just behind the A-pillar on the driver’s side.


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