SAE publishes recommended practices for emergency personnel in EV crashes

SAE International has released an official technical standard called “J2990-Hybrid and EV First and Second Responder Recommended Practice,” that lists best practices for responders.

 

For some, the EV is the savior of civilization; for others, its ruination. For emergency personnel, it’s simply a new type of drivetrain that presents several new issues and dangers for first responders in the case of a crash. Various organizations, including the National Alternative Fuels Training Consortium and the National Fire Protection Association, have developed training materials to educate emergency personnel about electrified vehicles.

Now SAE International has released an official technical standard called “J2990-Hybrid and EV First and Second Responder Recommended Practice,” that lists best practices for responders.
 
“As electric vehicles enter the marketplace in greater numbers, it’s an appropriate time to recognize best practices that facilitate a safe response when these vehicles are in an accident,” said SAE committee chairman Todd Mackintosh. 
 
Among recommended practices in the standard are:
 
  • A procedure for OEM vehicle labeling placed at standardized locations on the exterior and/or interior of the vehicle identifying that a vehicle contains high voltage systems. This guide would enable first responders to quickly identify the involved vehicle powertrain type and determine if it if contains a high voltage electrical system.
     
  • A quick reference guide. "Think of this as a cheat sheet for first-responders," said Mackintosh. "This will help emergency personnel identify the location of high voltage components, high-strength steel, and high voltage and supplemental restraint system disabling procedures to ensure the safest response methods for both themselves and vehicle occupants."
     
  • A recommendation that OEMs follow common standards for disabling high-voltage circuits and that vehicle OEMs provide a minimum of two methods of initiating the disconnection and isolation of the high voltage system form the vehicle.
     
  • OEM guidelines for the creation of second responder (i.e. tow truck operators) safety instructions for the inspection and handling of damaged or inoperable hybrid or electric vehicles, with a focus on the high voltage systems.