The Energy Security Agency – Guidance for EV Risks and Federal Compliance.

It is no secret there are more electric and hybrid vehicles on the road today, and that number will skyrocket in the next year. With OEMs such as Ford and Chevy giving public commitments to electric vehicles, including the iconic Ford Mustang and F-150, the number of HEV will outnumber traditional combustible engines sooner than you think. With no end in sight for rising gas prices, consumers are looking to electric vehicles for both fuel savings and environmental concerns. 

The problem for tow and recovery professionals is you will interact with electric vehicles more and more. There are definite hazards and risks that you must be prepared to deal with to keep you and your staff safe from the dangers of damaged electrical systems, and the real possibility of thermal runaway after the incident is over. Stored energy is a real concert when dealing with damaged electric vehicles with high voltage systems. A quick Google search will produce dozens of articles about hybrid/electric vehicles catching fire hours and days after an incident, even after the fire department has extinguished the flames. Several storage lots and buildings had catastrophic losses due to EV’s reigniting on property. 

Because of these risks, and the increasing frequency of tow operators interacting with electric and hybrid vehicles, new federal standards designed to protect people and property have been set forth by NTSB, NHTSA, NFPA, and SAE. They call on tow operators to seek guidance and have risk analysis conducted by third party experts. Compliance with these standards is crucial from both a safety and liability standpoint. If something goes south, you do not want to be holding the hat of non-compliance when the courts and insurance companies start their investigations into what went wrong. 

Fortunately, the Energy Security Agency is here to help you stay safe and in compliance at no cost to you! In fact, if you enroll in our ESA Partner Program, we will pay you for each risk analysis we complete on the electric vehicles you tow. Our 24/7 response center is a phone call away to provide risk analysis of the vehicle and expert guidance on how to properly handle any electric vehicle you may come in contact. 

Risk analyses are easy to complete. Simply call the ESA at 1-855-ESA-SAFE and our trained Risk Agents will ask you questions about your vehicle, and any damage it sustained. They will then send you a link to upload photos of the vehicle right from your phone. The agent will assign a risk level of green, yellow, or red, and provide guidance on how to interact with the vehicle.

To receive this free risk analysis and guidance service, tow operators need to go ESA’s website and sign up under the risk analysis section. Remember, there is no cost to you or your organization