Alternative Fuel Vehicle Safety Summit

June 23, 2016
Detroit, MI

This summit involved a diverse group of stakeholders focused on addressing important and useful review, validation and identification of gaps for emergency responder operational training materials on AFVs, These training materials are used by first and second emergency responders and others handling emergencies with alternative fuel vehicles, with an emphasis on gaseous fuels. This summit has been conducted through funding provided by the United States Department of Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE).

The scope of this effort includes addressing emergency activities such as: fire events, non-fire emergencies (e.g., submersion), fire investigation, crash reconstruction, tow and salvage, extrication practices, refueling and charging infrastructure, etc. The deliverables from this summit provide a summary of prioritized needs and gaps from the perspective of emergency responder stakeholders, and promotes activities to address these needs and gaps through all possible approaches. This includes working with vehicle providers to implement inherent safety design solutions through up-front innovative design.

The key summary observations from this summit address: general hazard concerns; electronic badging; fire fighting tactics; investigation; stranded energy; and other issues and trends.  Of particular note, the Summit highlights the following:

  • Need to address implementation of electronic badging technologies as soon as possible to enable real-time emergency event size-up and prospective data collection;
  • Clarifying the tactical fire fighting approach for the venting of gaseous fuel storage vessels depending on the vessel material (i.e., metal versus composite);
  • Addressing the needs of investigators to re-power damaged vehicles to harvest post event data; and
  • Continuing to address the problem of stranded energy and its long time frame impact on first and second emergency responders.