Electric and alternative fueled vehicles present different hazards for first and second responders than conventional gasoline internal combustion engines. Hydrogen vehicles (H2V) including Fuel Cell Vehicles (FCVs) involved in incidents may present unique hazards associated with the fuel storage and high voltage systems.
The electrical hazards associated with the high voltage systems of hybrid-electric vehicles and FCVs are already addressed in the parent document, SAE J2990. This Recommended Practice therefore addresses electric issues by reference to SAE J2990 and supplements SAE J2990 to address the potential consequences associated with hydrogen vehicle incidents and suggest common procedures to help protect emergency responders, tow and/or recovery, storage, repair, and salvage personnel after an incident has occurred. Industry design standards and tools were studied and where appropriate, suggested for responsible organizations to implement.
Many countries are adopting goals to increase the use of alternative fuels for vehicles, including hydrogen. The use of this alternative fuel in the automotive sector creates additional procedures that are not already addressed in SAE J2990 associated with the hydrogen storage systems and potential leakage of flammable gas. First and second responders must take special measures when working around hydrogen vehicles, regardless of their condition. Considerable work is needed to develop common and consistent procedures for emergency responders across the automotive industry towing, storage, repair, and salvage personnel.