FMVSS 305: Electrolyte spillage and electrical shock protection for electric-powered vehicles

Published in the October 2017 issue of Washington Update

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) issued a final rule (FR) to amend Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 305 to adopt various electrical safety requirements found in Global Technical Regulation (GTR) No. 13, “Hydrogen and fuel cell vehicles,” and other sources. This FR updates FMVSS No. 305 using modern and harmonized safety requirements, and facilitates the introduction of new technologies, including hydrogen fuel cell vehicles (HFCVs), and 48-volt mild hybrid technologies. This FR is a deregulatory action, imposes no costs, and adjusts FMVSS No. 305 to give more flexibility to manufacturers – not only to use modern electrical safety designs to produce electric vehicles, but also to introduce new technologies to the U.S. market. To expand FMVSS No. 305's performance requirements beyond post-crash conditions, NHTSA adopts electrical safety requirements to protect against direct and indirect contact of high voltage sources during everyday operation of electric-powered vehicles. Also, NHTSA adopts an optional method of meeting post-crash electrical safety requirements, consistent with that in GTR No. 13, involving use of physical barriers to prevent direct or indirect contact (by occupants, emergency services personnel and others) with high voltage sources. 

Agency Contact William Sanchez (202) 493-0248. PUBLISHED: 9/27/2017; ACTION: Final Rule: REFERENCE: 82 FR 44945; REG: 49 CFR Part 571.305.

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