Can Electric / Hybrid vehicles Shock you?
EV / Hybrid Training Courses
The number of Electric and hybrid vehicles on UK roads has increased rapidly and will continue to grow significantly in the near future.
These vehicles have many differences to traditional engine/fuel powered vehicles and they come with their own unique risks
It is only natural that people who come into regular contact with these vehicles during the course of their job have concerns and questions about potential safety risks, this is because they are aware that they do not understand this new and everchanging technology which they are being faced with… this could include people in the following professions.
First responders / Emergency services
Roadside Assistance & Recovery operators
Vehicle Sales and valeting Staff
Vehicle maintenance and repair Staff
A common question is.. Can Electric or Hybrid vehicles shock you?
When most people ask this question, they are referring to the possibility of touching the vehicle body and being electrocuted.
Well the short answer is.. Yes!, an Electric or Hybrid vehicle could cause an electric shock…
Don’t forget that the petrol in a conventional vehicle could also have its fuel ignited and cause burns and explosion.
In reality the chance of fuel becoming ignited and a vehicle setting on fire (even in a collision) is quite low, for Electric & Hybrid vehicles, a scenario where High Voltage components become exposed, make contact with the body of the car, are live, touched and then cause an electric shock is unlikely,
However, to be clear, this could occur and if it did, then it could result in very serious injury or death, Voltages present can be over 10 times higher than what is considered safe for humans!
The chance of an incident occurring increases significantly if people are unaware of the risks.
Harmful electricity is NOT connected to the vehicle body and this could only occur in rare circumstances, Electric & Hybrid vehicles have several design features which protect against potential High voltage electric shock, when manufacturing the vehicles these design features must be included in order to meet safety standards and for the vehicle to be sold to the general public.
Safety features include..
Automatic monitoring systems to identify high voltage leaks and disabling the flow of Electricity when detected.
High strength construction surrounding the High Voltage battery to protect against damage.
Having harmful High voltage limited only to HV components which are isolated from the rest of the vehicle.
Sensors which identify impact and isolate the high voltage.
There are many situations other than the vehicle body causing an electric shock where Electric & Hybrid vehicles pose a very serious and much more likely risk,
It is very important that anyone working with or around these vehicles understand their operation and construction and are made aware of the risks and best working practices,
For sales staff, understanding how to operate these vehicles and being aware that they can be silent in operation could avoid a situation where a person is hit/run over.
For Emergency Responders and Roadside/Recovery staff, understanding the location of High voltage components, when they are live and how to disable them could avoid a person coming into contact with High Voltage Electrics, this also stands true for repair and maintenance technicians.
Those are just two brief examples, other risks which untrained people may not be aware of include..
The potential for the release of explosive gases and harmful substances from batteries
Magnetic effects on medical devices such as pacemakers
Unexpected engine start up & vehicle movement