2nd Annual Electric Vehicle Safety Standards Summit

Fire Protection Research Foundation report: "2nd Annual Electric Vehicle Safety Standards Summit - Summary Report" (PDF)  Annex (PDF)
Author: Casey C. Grant, P.E., Fire Protection Research Foundation
Date of issue: September 2011


In the last several years has seen a resurgence of electric vehicles and hybrid electric vehicles in the passenger vehicle marketplace. The successful proliferation of these new vehicles is partially dependent on the safe implementation of this new technology, and how well safety codes and standards address this overall topic is a key component to this success.

Strong incentive exists to proactively address all the safety concerns relating to these new vehicles, their components such as batteries, and the supporting technology in the built infrastructure like charging stations. As a result, the U.S. National Electric Vehicle Safety Standards Summit was held during October 2010 in Detroit Michigan. This earlier Summit developed the base elements for an action plan in support of the safe implementation of electric vehicles, using safety codes and standards as the primary mechanism for this action plan.

The purpose of the Second Annual Electric Vehicle Safety Standards Summit (September 2011) was to bring appropriate stakeholder groups together to further refine a shared implementation plan to ensure that fire and electrical safety standards impacting electric vehicles do not serve as a barrier to their deployment. In doing so, the intent has been to build on the success of the previous Summit (October 2010). The specific objectives of this latest event were:

  • Review the significant progress since the previous Summit (October 2010) and apply the lessons-learned for future enhanced action plans;
  • Further clarify the relevant fire and electrical safety codes, standards and specifications which address the safety hazards associated with the widespread implementation of electric vehicles;
  • Review progress to fill identified gaps in these codes, standards and specifications (i.e. changes/enhancements and/or new standards), and identify new gaps that have arisen;
  • Review progress to fill related gaps in research, training, and communications; and
  • Refine and enhance the previously established action plan to fill these gaps for necessary standards development and associated support activities.