Emergency responders need to be more trained in handling incidents involving electric vehicles. Therefore, EV education efforts must be stepped up by automakers. The continued expansion of EVs requires appropriate training and education.
Stu Fowle from GM said he aims to clear up any misconceptions firefighters might have. This initiative will clear up misconceptions about electric vehicles while educating emergency responders on battery technology.
Handling battery fire
“The amount of water you need to apply to a battery fire is higher than that of a vehicle that has a gas engine,” he said.
Even though fires in electric vehicles may be less frequent than in gas-powered cars, there is an increasing need for emergency responders to manage the high prevalence of EVs.
Towing electric vehicles
Additionally, Fowle clarified that a flatbed truck should only be used to tow electric vehicles. In any other case, the broken battery can pose a safety risk due to the pulled vehicle’s remaining wheels rolling on the ground.
“When you’re pressing your brakes, they actually capture some of that energy and put it back in the battery to give you a longer range so you can drive,” he said of electric vehicles’ design. “But when you’re towing a vehicle, it’s creating that same energy and could put it back into the vehicle.”
It is also worth noting that the low center of gravity achieved by having the battery underneath the vehicle reduces the risk of a rollover accident. Since gasoline cars have a completely different battery placement, first responders must be educated about this.
General Motor’s objective in launching the First Responder Training initiative
According to FireRescue1, the electric vehicle First Responder Training aims to provide crucial knowledge regarding battery electric vehicle technology. It advances GM’s educational initiatives, which the company launched more than ten years ago with the release of the Chevrolet Volt hybrid car.
Andrew Klock, a senior manager of education and development at the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), said:
“The best way for the public and private vehicle fleet owners to rapidly adopt EVs is to train firefighters and emergency responders on how to handle incidents involving battery powered vehicles. The fire service has had more than 100 years to gain the knowledge needed to respond to internal combustion engine fires, and it is critical that they are now educated on EV safety.” (retrieved from engadget)
GM works to dispel EV misconceptions and provides first responders with crucial education and training to handle EV accidents. It is part of the company’s broader effort to eliminate vehicle tailpipe emissions and only sell zero-emission light-duty vehicles by 2035.