Attack Of The Neighborhood Electric Vehicles

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer

In case you couldn’t tell, I’m hardly the biggest fan of the Insurance Institute For Highway Safety. Corporate-backed safety nannies posing as quasi-governmental bodies with an ends-justify-the-means vendetta against speed, light weight and other admirable car qualities just rub me the wrong way somehow. But the enemy of my enemy is my friend (for at least a legislative session or two), and it turns out the IIHS and I can agree on something to hate: Neighborhood Electric Vehicles. Now, you might think that limiting an entire class of cars to 25 MPH is something the IIHS would consider a good first step, but you’d be wrong. A Wall Street Journal piece on the rise of these annoying little vehicles quotes an IIHS spokesman calling NEVs “souped-up golf carts,” and warning of the safety consequences of allowing them on public roads. In fact, the IIHS is threatening to perform another round of its patented “no shit, Sherlock” crash tests, “proving” that NEVs aren’t capable of protecting passengers in a collision with a real car. Despite the pointlessness of this gesture, TTAC wholeheartedly embraces the idea of NEV crash testing, purely for entertainment and schadenfreude-related reasons. If the portion of the video above (showing what appears to be a Chrysler GEM NEV) is anything to go on, this could be epic. Meanwhile, our suggestion to eco-freak “early adopters” is to skip the NEVs and buy a motorcycle-category three wheeler. You’re still going to die in a crash, but at least we won’t get stuck behind you going 25 miles per hour. Check out TTAC’s review of the Miles ZX40 NEV here.

Edward Niedermeyer
Edward Niedermeyer

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  • Joeaverage Joeaverage on Sep 30, 2009

    Don't they usually crash test vehicles into "soft" objects instead of unmovable solid barriers? Stuff with padding enough to represent the crumple zones of another car? Am wondering if somebody at the IIHS is trying very hard to make these cars look worse than they are - you know scare us into staying in our domestically produced 5,000 lb SUVs. I can hear the easily influenced consumers now - "oh my goodness, these cars are so unsafe!!!" Its the same group that was successfully worried right into huge vehicles so they would be "safer" from other motorists. Okay - just don't hit anything. Same mindset I have when I ride my motorcycle or bicycle or in fact even when I drive my much more substantial daily drivers.

  • Panzerfaust Panzerfaust on Sep 30, 2009

    I thought my comments were more on the Alkaline side. But I'm in counseling, so they may be leaning toward Lithium any day now.

  • Joeaverage Joeaverage on Oct 01, 2009

    Wonder how many folks run off the road and hit unmovable objects at 35 mph vs other vehicles at 35 mph. I'm guessing that most drivers - except the worst drivers - are aware of their surroundings enough to avoid things like trees, walls, poles, houses, and loading docks. If they aren't - is there any car that better suits them than a car limited to 35 mph??? NEVs might be the perfect vehicle for the excessively risky drivers, old, very young, etc. Keeps a person in touch with their lack of immortality. VBG!

  • Anonymous Anonymous on Oct 01, 2009

    [...] The Wall Street Journal - via TTAC | Image: Zenn Motor [...]