Euro NCAP protocols are continuously evolving to warranty the highest level of active and passive safety in the vehicles available in the market. As a result of this evolution a new frontal crash scenario has been recently included, it is the Mobile Progressive Deformable Barrier test (MPDB). It consists on a mobile vehicle of 1.400kg with a deformable barrier in the front that circulates at 50kph and crashes against the tested vehicle, also circulating at 50kph with a 50% overlap.
This crash configuration is especially critical for light urban electric vehicles. The fist reason for this assertion is related to the mass and size of the urban vehicle. As they are quite light, the impact against another vehicle that almost duplicates their mass is really challenging, and this fact is aggravated by the small size of the vehicle that implies a shorter space to absorb all the energy coming from the 1400kg vehicle and the ego vehicle. The second reason for this assertion is related to the need to protect the batteries from any kind of damage, which is especially critical also in a small sized vehicle.
Thanks to the development of Multi-Moby project, and together with the rest of the partners of the consortium, CIDAUT has demonstrated that it is possible to comply with this restrictive crash configuration. To achieve a positive result, and exhaustive optimization of the vehicle structure, together with the suitable design of the restraint system have been performed at the research and development center. After the optimization process, the simulations have shown that it is possible to protect both the occupants and the energy storage system from significant damage in this kind of impact.
The research leading to these results received funding from the European Union (EU) project MULTI-MOBY (GA #101006953)