Under the Bonnet: Built to Last

Under the Bonnet

Class - leading insurance rating

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The new VN5 electric van helps cut premiums and maintenance costs, with a class-leading insurance rating.

Following evaluation by Thatcham Research – administrators of the Association of British Insurer’s (ABI) Group Rating system - VN5 outperformed other medium-size electric vans owing to its unique construction and high level of safety features, and is helping drivers

achieve lower insurance premiums. VN5 achieved a 36A Group rating.

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Engineers at the independent research centre conducted simulations for low-speed impact, Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) and theft, to determine the appropriate insurance group for each vehicle. This grouping influences the amount commercial vehicle customers pay for van insurance. The lower the Insurance Group rating, the lower the likely cost of insurance. 

SAFETY AS STANDARD

Vehicle-to-vehicle rear end crashes are amongst the most common accidents on European roads. Designed from the outset to offer the highest levels of safety, VN5 comes equipped with AEB as standard. This active safety system assists the driver when there is a risk of colliding with traffic, pedestrians or cyclists by automatically applying the brakes when collision is imminent.

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Engineers and scientific experts create simulations as close to reality as possible, using bespoke targets designed to replicate a real vehicle; driving VN5 into a stationary vehicle, approaching at low and high speeds of 10 to 50 km/h in 10km/h increments.

AEB helps reduce the risk of being involved in an accident, therefore lowering the insurance rating and associated insurance premium.

The vehicle was also subjected to the New Vehicle Security Assessment (NVSA). Here, engineers used what they refer to as “commonly available tools”, such as screwdrivers or hammers, to simulate a thief’s attempt to break into the vehicle; probes and electrical leads to attack the immobiliser and other accessible electrical harnesses.

BUILT TO LAST

VN5’s robust, long-lasting build helps lower real-world accident damage costs associated with low-speed impacts.

Using the internationally recognised 15 km/h crash impact and bumper 10 km/h check, engineers assessed VN5’s damageability and repairability. 

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Here, VN5 sets a new standard, with first-in-sector construction materials and techniques unlike anything found in a traditional van. Its bonded aluminium monocoque body can absorb twice the energy of mild steel, while the exterior panels are made from a Sheet Mounded Composite (SMC), which is flexible and resilient to light dents and knocks. 

FASTER AND EASIRE TO REPAIR

Engineers assessed the body panels after collision testing, determining the cost and time (key contributing factors in van insurance ratings) taken by repairers to return the vehicle to its pre-impact condition.

Longer repair times create unwanted vehicle downtime and also means higher costs and a likelihood of a higher group rating. To mitigate this, the most vulnerable panels such as the bumpers and rear quarter panels are attached by bolts, meaning they can be quickly and easily replaced.

Larger panels such as the side panel are bonded to the structure using a cold-cure adhesive. These can be removed without grinding or welding, meaning replacement will take a fraction of the time it would take to cut out a traditional steel panel.

VN5’S CLASS-LEADING INSURANCE RATING CAN IMPROVE YOUR BOTTOM LINE. MORE THAN THAT, IT SHOWS THAT VN5 IS AS SAFE, DURABLE AND PRODUCTIVE AS YOU NEED IT TO BE.