This information report provides an overview of a typical high voltage electric propulsion vehicle (xEV) and the associated on-board safety systems typically employed by OEM’s to protect these high voltage systems. The report aims to improve public confidence in xEV safety systems and dispel public misconceptions about the likelihood of being shocked by the high voltage system, even when the vehicle has been damaged. The report will document select high voltage systems used for xEV’s and describe safety systems employed to prevent exposure to the high voltage systems.
Electrification of the vehicle industry is increasing at a rapid pace globally, with many countries adopting policies supporting the adoption of electrified vehicles. This propulsion technology in the automotive sector has raised new concerns, such as the possibility of humans coming in contact with high voltage in the vehicle. To mitigate the possibility of occupants and first and second responders from making direct contact with live high voltage parts, Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM’s) have put in place many safety systems. This report describes some of the general safety systems and practices employed by OEM’s to help assure the general public of the safety of these vehicles and to explain why these safety systems and practices do help protect against high voltage contact.