Car safety watchdog ANCAP has expressed concerns over safety claims made by ACE Electric Vehicles in relation to three models it is preparing to launch in Australia.

Comments by ACE’s managing director Greg McGarvie on Channel 7’s Sunrise program has sparked a swift response by ANCAP which tests and rates cars for safety offered for sale here and in New Zealand.

McGarvie said told Sunrise the company’s vehicles are based on German designs and as such meet safety standards equivalent to ANCAP in Europe.

“The vehicle is German-designed and has been designed to European standards, and they have ANCAP ratings over there,” he said.
ANCAP boss James Goodwin has expressed serious reservations about ACE’s claims.
“Despite the claims made by the distributor in the media, these vehicles have yet to be independently tested for safety either here in Australia or by our European counterparts. The safety credentials of these vehicles are unknown,” Mr Goodwin said.

“It is also important to recognise that ANCAP is only in a position to test a vehicle once certified and approved for sale in Australia, and after it is compliant with the regulatory standards of the Australian Design Rules (ADRs).”

“We would strongly caution any brand against making claims on safety performance prior to independent ANCAP assessment, but welcome the opportunity to discuss the claims and potential testing with the distributor.”

ACE Electric Vehicles has signed a deal with Adelaide truck body maker Aldom and is preparing to roll out three electric models across Australia:

  • ACE Cargo (van)
  • ACE Yewt (ute)
  • ACE Urban (micro car)

McGarvie says on the company’s website that as the ACE-EV Cargo has passed extensive crash testing in China, where strict European standards are used to enable sale in the European market — he has no concerns about passing the same in Australia.

However, he does add the next step will be to have the ACE-EV Cargo – the first of which was assembled and unveiled in Sydney in March – passed through Australia’s crash testing, Australian design regulations and ANCAP ratings.

To put the discussion in context, all new vehicles sold in Australia must meet the requirements of the Motor Vehicle Standards Act 1989, including relevant Australian Design Rules.

Most vehicles are physically tested by ANCAP at its Huntingwood crash facility, but it does under some circumstances share data with other organisations across the world such as Euro NCAP.

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Chris Riley has been a journalist for almost 40 years. He has spent half of his career as a writer, editor and production editor in newspapers, the rest of the time driving and writing about cars both in print and online. His love affair with cars began as a teenager with the purchase of an old VW Beetle, followed by another Beetle and a string of other cars on which he has wasted too much time and money. A self-confessed geek, he’s not afraid to ask the hard questions - at the risk of sounding silly.
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