Electric and Hybrid Vehicle Safety
By Philippe Bouchard Eng., P. Eng., CFEI, CVFI,
Electric and hybrid vehicles are changing the field of transportation. As the world's dependence upon fossil energy slowly decreases, many believe that the traditional combustion engine will be replaced in the not too distant future. Technological advances in the field, in conjunction with governmental incentive programs, are conducive to the increasing popularity of electric and hybrid vehicles.
However, with more of these electric and hybrid vehicles on our roads, first responders must change the way they handle emergency situations involving these vehicles, such as accidents, fires, and immersion in water. Electric and hybrid vehicles often contain certain unique components that require special attention in order to ensure the safety of the occupants and first responders.
This document provides a general description of the special components of electric and hybrid vehicles and an overview of the information required to understand and handle electric and hybrid vehicles in an emergency situation. It is our belief that not only first responders must understand these safety considerations, but also the owners of these vehicles due to the potential of being exposed to unique risks.