Electrical & Hybrid Vehicles Safety – Are you Ready?

As per the vehicle licensing statistics, there were 1.114 million licensed plug-in vehicles on road in the United Kingdom by the end of December 2022. The number of plug-in vehicles sales is increasing in the United Kingdom as the government plan to address the climate change concerns resulting in planning to ban the new combustion-engine vehicles from 2030, followed by new hybrid vehicles by 2035 and diesel vans and lorries in 2040. With this plan, a lot of the companies, considering their Corporate Social Responsibilities, had decided to move with electric vehicles earlier than these dates, along with the installation of charging units to contribute towards this cause for climate change.

          Kilowatt is the unit that is used for the measurement of electricity usage. Higher KW chargers, or fast chargers, helps in charging vehicles faster compared to the conventional chargers, however, fast charging can result in an increase of fire risk, but this can be reduced by taking effective measures. While planning for the installation of chargers for electric cars, it’s important to consider that how much charging load is required, if existing electrical installations are safe for further installation on the same power lines, the need for anti-collision barriers, and other hazards, especially fire hazards near charging points.

          For the installation of charging points, it’s important to consider that a competent person is hired for the task, so they can ensure that the unit is inspected and tested to ensure it complies with BS 7671 as well as manufactural instructions for installations before putting it to use. As an employer, you can ask for an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) from the competent person installing the unit. This can include the schedule of inspection and is to make sure that the inspections are carried out on regular basis. You should also ensure that before installation you have considered sealing any drill holes to avoid the spread of fire in case of an electrical fire.

          Electrical vehicles work differently than the petroleum fuelled vehicles especially when fully charged, this may result in the vehicle not slowing down as rapidly as petroleum fuelled vehicles. As an employer, if you consider putting electric vehicles in place, it’s important that you ensure that your employees understand the vehicle properly and are trained to use it, as well as obtaining the license, insurance and understanding vehicle maintenance.