Tesla SUV Gets 5-Star Crash Safety Ratings From NHTSA, Jolting Industry

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In a jolt for the electric car industry, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has awarded the 2017 Tesla Model X Model X five-star crash safety ratings in every category, the highest score the federal agency can award.

Palo Alto, California-based Tesla Inc. (NASDAQ: TSLA) claimed in a press release that the Model X is the first SUV to achieve this designation from the NHTSA, which was verified by the federal agency.

The NHTSA evaluated five Tesla models in the study — 60D, 75d, 90D, P100D and P90D — for frontal crash side crash and rollover. Each of those categories has   subcategories, and all models scored five stars in each. The tests examine the impact of simulated crashes on dummies placed inside the car.

The results of the federal agency’s evaluation come as the number of electric vehicles on the road is rising. Worldwide the number of electric vehicles doubled to 2 million in 2016,  according to a report earlier this month from the International Energy Agency.

Norway has the largest share of electric cars of any country, accounting for 29% of its domestic market. Electric-car registrations in the United States rebounded to 160,000 units in 2016 after a slight drop the prior year. The electric-car market in the U.S. is just under 1%.

Shares of Tesla, whose market cap of $61.29 billion exceeds that of Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F) and General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) climbed almost 4% to $373.13 in afternoon trading Tuesday in New York.Tesla is one of the best-performing stocks this year. The company’s shares are up about 70% year to date compared with the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index’s 8.5% gain.