Plug-in electric vehicles are as safe as conventional vehicles. The vehicles themselves are held to the same safety requirements set by the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration as conventional vehicles, and PEVs also meet electrical and safety standards set by the Society of Automotive Engineers, the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Working Council and others.
Charging your PEV is completely safe, as well as easy. The charging cable, connector, vehicle inlet and charger itself all have built-in safety protection that is tested and certified to national codes and standards, as well as automotive standards for PEV charging.
Energizing of the cable and connector does not begin until a proper inlet and safety ground connection are verified. In addition, the charger has an auto disconnect or de-energizing feature to prevent any hazard if for any reason the connector is inadvertently disconnected from the vehicle inlet. The connector, cable and vehicle inlet are operable in all weather conditions.
The vehicle itself has built-in sensing and surge protection capabilities as well to protect the vehicle electronics from any damage due to changes in voltage or current from the electric grid.
The batteries used in PEVs also pose no additional risks over a conventional vehicle. PEV batteries are sealed and all high-voltage circuits are protected from accidental contact. High-voltage circuits are also color-coded orange and posted with warnings to advise of their presence. First responders undergo training so they are prepared to deal with potential emergency situations involving electric vehicles.
First Responder PEV Knowledge
Training for firefighters, emergency medical personnel and law enforcement regarding advanced technologies such as PEVs has been underway at the Federal, State and local levels, as well as by auto manufacturers.
The National Fire Protection Association’s (NFPA) Electric Vehicle Safety Training Project helps firefighters and other first responders prepare for the growing number of electric vehicles on the roads. In addition, NFPA collects safety information from hybrid and electric vehicle manufacturers specific to their own vehicles.
In California, the Office of the State Fire Marshall has developed training manuals for each of the alternative fuel technologies, so first responders can make informed decisions at the scene of a vehicle emergency.