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Audi E-Tron beats Tesla to a landmark first for electric cars

While environmental advocates have been pushing drivers towards electric cars for some time, road safety advocates have given us some solid cause for pause.

Why? Because until now there has been no e-car that has matched the standards of the safest gasoline cars on the market, according to the top advisory board in the United States.

That changes today with news the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has named the Audi E-Tron SUV as a 2019 top safety pick plus; a first for a battery powered car (via The Verge).

The vehicle, which launched earlier this year as a rival to the Tesla Model X, received a “good” rating (and “superior” where applicable) for all areas of the crashworthiness, crash avoidance and mitigation, child seat anchors, headlights, roof strength, structure and safety cage and driver injury measures categories.

Tesla on the other hand has a somewhat frosty relationship with the IIHS after the Model S sedan was only afforded an “acceptable” rating back in 2017.

“IIHS and dozens of other private industry groups around the world have methods and motivations that suit their own subjective purposes,” a spokesperson for Tesla said at the time.

However, in order to get the top rating from the IIHS, the car being tested must feature automatic breaking systems that can slow down or stop the vehicle at 12 and 25mph. The E-Tron managed it. The Model S did not. The IIHS is yet to announce its rating for the Model 3 and hasn’t tested the Model X. The Model X, it’s fair to say, did win a perfect five-star safety rating from another body, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) back in 2017.

Of the Audi E-Tron, the IIHS said in its assessment: “This system meets the requirements for forward collision warning. In the 12 mph IIHS test, impact speed was reduced by 11 mph. In the 25 mph IIHS test, this vehicle avoided a collision.”