An important part of the process in the competitive and fast paced business of developing new electric vehicles is the validation of crash simulation models and verification of compliance standards through physical crash testing. Calspan is well versed at understanding the challenges that OEM’s face and the team works hard to provide unique solutions to accomplish their requirements.

Developing a new electric vehicle requires validation at a component level from structure crashworthinessand battery testing, to full vehicle crash testing and occupant response. From very early on in the process to final NCAP testing, Calspan’s experienced staff has a proven track record for executing tests at their transportation safety campus in Buffalo, NY.


Calspan is the leading provider of independent crash testing services from component testing to full vehicles. As a solutions provider, Calspan has the ability to design and fabricate testing hardware, develop test methodology, and execute the testing itself. Whether it’s a combustion engine or a high voltage electric powered vehicle, the crash standards remain the same; Calspan can test to U.S. (i.e. FMVSSNCAP), IIHSand European (ECE and EuroNCAP) protocols. However, safety protocols are very much different when dealing with a high-voltage battery. Calspan follows the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) 305, which was developed to protect occupants and first responders after an accident occurs that involves an electric vehicle.


Specialized testing of prototypes and electric vehicles requires a laboratory with personnel who have extensive experience conducting crash tests on highly instrumented, prototype electric vehicles and components. Calspan’s fully enclosed, independent laboratory is located on private property with 24/7 onsite security and has the electronic and physical security measures in place to protect even the most confidential prototypes. For many years, Calspan has been trusted by established OEMs and start-ups to securely and accurately work with their vehicles.


  • Calspan conducts in-house safety and security measures, such as:
  • Pre-test verification of electrical connections and safety disconnect
  • Post-crash checks for isolation of high voltage from the chassis, leakage and for physical damage while using protective gear and tools designed specifically for high-voltage electric-vehicle batteries (EVB – Otherwise referred to as high-voltage battery packs and Rechargeable Electric Storage Systems (RESS)).
  • A defined location for where vehicles are quarantined and observed after a test to ensure hidden damage does not result in a thermal event.
  • FMVSS 305 Post Crash Requirements
  • All doors are badge access controlled
  • Close circuit security cameras are utilized to monitor all movement


Calspan’s lab is uniquely outfitted with the most precise and accurate equipment available on the market today. In addition, it’s operated by Calspan’s experienced staff who has a proven track record for completing extensive vehicle modifications, rebuilds, and for installing high quantities of instrumentation (100+ vehicle channels per vehicle) in record time in order to meet program requirements. Making it the ideal choice for those who wish to validate simulation models.

  • Specialized equipment from MESSRING, the global gold standard for vehicle crash test equipment, includes:
  • MESSRING’s propulsion system and MicroTrack enhanced track rail system for guiding vehicles
  • Huge 20 foot x 13 foot photo pits which enable unobstructed and spectacular under body, high speed camera footage of the vehicle structure and adjacent battery pack throughout the crash event
  • High resolution, 5-axis load cell walls that include full frontal, offset frontal, side pole and the IIHS Small Overlap. These high-resolution load cell walls are utilized throughout vehicle development, for impact testing of frame rails, bumpers and other structural components, to skateboard prototypes and finally when the “top hat” is mated with the skateboard.


Since every OEM has a unique set of requirements, challenges and associated limitations, Calspan is poised to do as much or as little as an OEM requires. This includes but is not limited to managing vehicle transport, build-to-suit areas for OEM’s to reside, confidential vehicle destruction and battery recycling in addition to providing onsite buildings for the storage of vehicles and components.

There is a reason that Calspan has received international recognition for its prestigious, independent laboratory, including being awarded Crash Test Lab of the Year by Automotive Test Technology International for two years running. If you are looking for an experienced, flexible and efficient team to get your product to market, be sure to contact our crash test experts, today.

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Company News Mobility & Safety