Why Electric Vehicle Training is so important? 2021-07-09T08:30:03+00:00

Why It's So Important to Get Electric Vehicle Training?

Electric and hybrid vehicles are being used more frequently than before, with the growth of environmental awareness. With their increased use, comes the emerging need for these vehicles to be recovered, repaired and maintained. And as we see more of these types of vehicles on the road, an increasing number of these activities are carried outside the manufacturers and franchised dealerships.

Please note the Electric Vehicle can also be labelled as Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV)/ Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV) or Hybrid Electric Vehicle (HEV) 

Working with Electric & Hybrid Vehicles In The Roadside & Recovery Information

Online EV & HybridAWARE DCPC: Outstanding instructor Ty Joy delivering outstanding Electric Vehicle training via AWARE Series TV

If you work in the roadside & recovery industry, you are more likely to come across Electric & Hybrid Vehicles (E&HVs), so you need to be aware of how to safely deal with hazards associated with them. To achieve this, you will need not only an additional set of skills but also know how to use the required equipment to handle them. This is why it's so important to undergo electric vehicle training with an approved and accredited training provider.

Let's look at two key differences from traditional vehicles that can make electric vehicles hazardous.

Firstly, Electric & Hybrid Vehicles hold a voltage significantly higher than other vehicles.

You're looking at levels of up to 650 Volts dc, compared to other vehicles (12/24 volts dc). For context, getting in contact with parts live at 110 Volts can be fatal. High voltage E&HVs are considered between 60 and 150 volts, although this varies depending on the sector. 

Secondly, E&HVs hold battery systems that can emit harmful chemicals if released and can explode if the immense energy within the battery is not contained safely.

However, please look at manufacturers' guides when assessing the exact hazards associated with an electric vehicle, as this can provide you with more specific information.

Vehicle Types

Electric Vehicles

The Flagship Electric Vehicle owned by Network Training Partnership, the founder of AWARE Series. The vehicle is a major feature of AWARE Series TV.

Electric Vehicles use an electric motor and a large capacity battery to drive vehicles. The electricity supply network charges the battery when the vehicle is not being used, although, during braking, some energy may be recovered. 

Hybrid Vehicles

A Hybrid Vehicle

Hybrid vehicles usually have two sources of energy: a battery and an internal combustion engine using either petrol or diesel for fuel. During driving, the hybrid vehicle automatically starts using energy from both sources and may use both the battery and internal combustion engine power source simultaneously. 

Hybrid vehicles can have their battery re-charged in 2 ways.

Firstly, battery energy can be recovered when the driver brakes the vehicle or through the internal combustion engine. Secondly, the electrical supply network can directly charge plug-in hybrid vehicle batteries.

Risks of working with Electric & Hybrid Vehicle

Training is key to reducing the possibility of accidents with Electric Vehicles. Here is AWARE Series Trainer Paul Jarratt delivering the IMI Level 2 EV Hazard Management for Emergency Services and Recovery Personnel Course.  The 7-delegates can also be awarded 7-hours CPC.

Electric & Hybrid Vehicles bring their own workplace hazards in addition to usual hazards linked to repairing and maintaining vehicles, roadside recovery and other vehicle-related activities. These include:

1. Component Risk

Electric vehicles contain high voltage components and cabling which can deliver a fatal electric shock. These components may retain a dangerous voltage even when a vehicle is switched off. 

2. Explosion Risk

An explosion can be caused by the improper storage of electrical energy within the vehicle, as well as from the emission of explosive gases and harmful liquids if batteries are incorrectly modified or damaged.

3. Movement Risk

The vehicle or electric motors may move unexpectedly due to magnetic forces within the motors.  Road users may be unaware of cars when electrically driven as they are silent in operation.

4. Manual Handling Risk

Relevant Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Users may incur manual handling risks when replacing a battery.

5. Medical Risk

Electric systems may affect medical devices belonging to vehicle users, such as pacemakers.

How to work safely with Electric & Hybrid Vehicles

The short answer is adequate training!

An Approved and Accredited Training Provider as shown is exactly what you're looking for. Here's a snapshot of delegates taking the IMI L2 Hazard Management for the Emergency Services and Recovery Personnel Qualification delivered by industry-recognised trainer Paul Jaratt.

Book an approved and accredited electric vehicle training course, such as AWARE Series' Online EV & HybridAWARE DCPC Course. If you do work in the roadside and recovery sector, or emergency services, we strongly recommend you also book the IMI L2 Award in Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Hazard Management For Emergency & Recovery Personnel. The content of this qualification has been specially designed to give delegates the knowledge required to work safely around Electric/Hybrid vehicles that may have or had damage to their high energy/electrical system, during emergency and recovery situations.

The above is the best option as you will receive support from trainers who are active specialists in the field.

However, below are some common guidelines that individuals should follow based on 4 different activities involving the Electric Vehicle.

These include:

  • Low-risk activities including Selling & Valeting the Electric Vehicle
  • Incident responses. Emergency services and vehicle recovery
  • Maintenance and repair which do not involve high voltage electrical systems
  • High voltage electric systems 

Low-risk activities e.g.  Selling & Valeting Electric & Hybrid Vehicles

If you are selling an E&HV, you may need to open and close the car often to show prospective buyers. If you are valeting, you may need to do the same also. Please ensure that:

  • Remote operation keys are kept away from the vehicle. These only need to be close to the vehicle when the vehicle needs to be powered up. Otherwise, the vehicle can accidentally move.
  • Even if you have moved operation keys away from the vehicle, be aware that the vehicle may move without warning. 
  • Do not valet the vehicle underbody before reviewing manufacturer guidance. Pressure washing can damage high voltage electrical components and cables (High voltage cables normally are coloured orange)

Mid-risk e.g. Maintaining and repairing Electric & Hybrid Vehicles

Please ensure that:

  • You refer and comply with relevant manufacturer and trade body guidance before undertaking any task
  • Remote operation keys are kept away from the vehicle. These only need to be close to the vehicle when the vehicle is to be powered up. Otherwise, the vehicle can accidentally move.
  • You lock away keys, allowing access only to the relevant, permitted user working on the vehicle
  • Only retrieve the key once the vehicle is in a safe condition
  • Visually Check signs of damage to components & high voltage cabling (normally orange) before working
  • Identify high voltage cable locations before conducting tasks e.g. welding, cutting, panel replacement
  • Isolate or disconnect the high voltage battery according to the manufacturer's instructions, unless you require the vehicle to be energised for the necessary task.
  • Take appropriate action to prevent damage

High-risk i.e. Working on High Voltage Electrical Systems

Only consider working on live electrical equipment when it is safe and justifiable to do so, and when all other alternatives have been evaluated and eliminated. If this is the only option, consider the risks and mitigation controls, including the use of PPE (Personal, Protective Equipment). Refer to manufacturer's guidance. You may need to secure the area around the vehicle so that people do not put themselves at risk by getting too close to the vehicle, and place warning signs in relevant positions to alert people of the dangers.

Please ensure that:

  • You refer and comply with relevant manufacturer and trade body guidance before undertaking any task
  • Remote operation keys are kept away from the vehicle. These only need to be close to the vehicle when the vehicle is to be powered up. Otherwise, the vehicle can accidentally move.
  • You lock away keys, allowing access only to the relevant, permitted user working on the vehicle
  • Only retrieve the key once the vehicle is in a safe condition
  • Visually Check signs of damage to components & high voltage cabling (normally orange) before working
  • Before work is undertaken, do the following:
    • Isolate and lock-off electricity source according to manufacturer's instructions
    • Disconnect the power and secure so that it cannot be switched on inadvertently
    • Prove that the power, any high voltage cable or electrical component is dead by testing

Also, please be aware that:

  • Vehicle batteries and other components may still retain a high voltage and contain significant amounts of energy after isolating. Refer to manufacture data on safely releasing stored energy.
  • Only relevant tools and equipment should be used when working with electric & hybrid vehicles, which may include electrically insulated tools complying with GS38 standards
  • If the vehicle has collided, you may not be able to fully isolate high voltage electrical systems, and safely release all stored energy. Refer to manufacturer and trade body guidance on how to implement controls before executing further work
  • Battery packs can reach high temperatures. The battery pack maximum temperature is usually labelled on the vehicle, and this needs to be considered during operations where booth temperatures could exceed this limit.  Execute measures to control potential risks, e.g. remove batteries, or insulate the battery to limit any temperature increase.

For more information, visit the Health & Safety Executive