Q. What does EHV / HEV stand for?
A. Electric Hybrid Vehicle / Hybrid Electric Vehicle.
Q. What does EV stand for?
A. Electric Vehicle. Sometimes these are also referred to as BEV’s: Battery Electric Vehicles. Be aware there are many acronyms being adopted by auto manufacturers for this types of vehicle including PHEV which means Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle.
Q. How can I tell if a vehicle is an Electric or Hybrid?
A. There are usually a few clues that can help identify the type of vehicle. For example:
- Check all badges on the vehicle. Blue tinges on the badges are sometimes an indicator of a vehicles energy source?
- Cross check vehicle model number against other sources.
- Refer to the vehicle owners manual.
- Beneath the bonnet the presence of bright orange cables is an indication that the vehicle is an electric or hybrid.
Q. What Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) do I need to work on Electric Hybrid Vehicles?
A. The recommended minimum level of PPE is as follow:
- Insulated electrical safety gloves (Cat 0 – 1000 V)
- Insulated overboots or insulated floor matting
- Face shield or safety goggles
Q. Can I wear my watch and jewellery when I work on EHV’s?
A. Make sure that you remove any rings, watches, necklaces, bracelets etc. Jewellery has the potential to conduct electricity and damage your PPE.
Q. Do I need to be trained to work on Electric & Hybrid Vehicles?
A. Any person undertaking any kind of work on Electric Hybrid Vehicles must be suitably trained. Qualifications for working on internal combustion engine vehicles are insufficient to understand requirements of Electric Hybrid Vehicles. Auto Centre staff including those required to move the vehicle around the centre should also undertake Electric Vehicle Basic Awareness Training.
Q. What level of training do I need?
A. Our Basic Awareness or IMI Level 1 courses are for all Auto Centre Staff i.e. Valets, Service Advisors, Sales Staff, Transport drivers etc.
The Level 3 courses are for Vehicle Technicians or anyone involved in any repair or recovery activity. Please refer to our training page for more information.
Q. Is my workshop suitable to work on Electric Hybrid Vehicles?
A. Work of this kind requires well organised and clean work areas. Workshops involved in traditional auto repairs are advised to allocate a designated area for working on EHV’s. As well as the Personal Protective Equipment mentioned above, barrier systems, floor matting, warning signs should be used to section off a suitable area. The professional EHV workshop should also have insulated tools certified to IEC 60900.
Q. How long does it take for an EHV to discharge?
A. Once the discharge plug has been removed, we recommend waiting a minimum of 15 minutes to allow capacitors to discharge.
Q. What are the dangers when working on electric hybrid vehicles?
A. High Voltage. Technicians and the general public are used to 12v vehicle electrical systems. Anything above 60V DC is potentially fatal if you receive an electric shock. Most Electric & Hybrid vehicles work between 120 and 800 volts.
Q. What should I do with the vehicle’s keys?
A. It is recommended that all keys are removed from the vehicle and stored in a secure location a minimum of 5 Metres away from the vehicle.
Q. Why do I need to use insulated tools when the vehicle is already discharged?
A. Insulated tools provide an additional level of safety for technicians when working on Electric Hybrid Vehicles. Any residual faults in the vehicle systems could prevent full energy discharge. The insulated tools will protect the worker from scenarios like these.
Q. What is Arc Flash?
A. An Arc Flash is the rapid and dangerous release of energy due to an electrical arcing fault. It happens in a fraction of a second. It will likely have devastating consequences for anyone exposed. An Arc Flash will contain the release of thermal energy, acoustical energy, a pressure wave and debris. Several things will affect the size and energy of an Arc Flash, including: Voltage, Amps, Arc Gap, Distance from the arc, confined space.
Q. Why should I wear Arc Flash clothing?
A. Wearing Arc Flash protective clothing/PPE will greatly increase personal safety. The risk of Arc Flash is ever present and can be mitigated by wearing Arc Flash protective garments. The job role that you have will go a long way to determining whether you should wear Arc Flash clothing. EINTAC can advise you further on this.
Q. Can I calculate the Arc Flash risk for my job?
A. Yes you can. Use our free Arc Flash Calculator, right here: (insert XL document link here!)
Q. Do I need an electrical test meter to work on EHV’s?
A. You must be able to test that the vehicle is completely discharged prior to starting work. An electrical test meter will enable you to do this.
Q. What type/specification of digital test meter do I need?
A. EINTAC recommend a digital multi-meter which is a minimum of Cat III certified and has a voltage detection range of at least 1000V DC
Q. Where do I need to test for (high) voltage?
A. Every vehicle will be different. Please refer to the manufacturers guidelines.
Q. Can I remove Electric Vehicle battery packs myself?
A. Vehicle technicians who have completed the Level III IMI training course or similar will be suitably qualified to remove the battery. Also follow the manufacturer’s instructions when carrying out this task.
Q. How / where should I store battery packs?
A. If a complete battery pack is removed from a vehicle it must be stored in a cool, drive metal storage facility and in its normal orientation. It’s advisable the storage facility should be lockable. A fixed fire extinguishing system is highly advisable. If space restrictions mean that you have to stack batteries on to top of each other, never stack more than two batteries high. It is essential to always make sure that the two different types of battery packs Lithium-ion (Li-ion) and Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH) are kept separate from each other.
Q. Can battery packs catch fire?
A. Yes and when they do, they burn quickly and very fiercely. A Lithium-ion battery pack fire can generate temperatures in excess of 500°C
Q. How do I know what size of insulated over boots I need?
A. Our dielectric over boots are sized according to standard UK shoe sizes. They are designed to fit over your existing footwear. Order the size that covers your shoe size. For example, if you are a UK size 10 (or equivalent), your recommended size is L / Large = 9-11
Q. How do I know what size of gloves I need?
A. Measure the circumference of you hand just below the knuckles. The size that you measure in inches is your glove size.
Q. Why do I need to wear three pairs of gloves?
The insulated glove provides the protection needed against electric shock risk. Wearing these rubber gloves quickly leads to perspiration of the hand inside the glove. The cotton undergloves will provide hygiene and comfort against this. This is especially important where gloves are shared by more than one person.
In addition to this the insulated glove is vulnerable to cuts and tears when in use. A leather overglove will protect the insulated glove from damage of this kind. If the insulated glove is damaged, it should be replaced immediately as it will no longer offer any protection.
Q. Do you have any Risk Assessment or Best Practice documents?
A. We can guide you in the process of carrying out your own risk assessment.
Q. Our business is not typical automotive sector. Can you still advise us?
A. Yes. We run tailored high voltage training courses to many industries and sectors including Colleges, Universities, Aerospace, OEM’s, Vehicle Dismantlers/Recyclers among many others. Please get in touch for more advice.