How to rescue people from crashed EV's

Please also read this section.

Electric vehicles are usually identified by badges on the trunk lid or in the sides. Otherwise electric vehicles can be identified by the orange cables in the engine bay. If there is no tail pipe you may also assume that the vehicle is electric. Warning signs are only visible under the hood and sometimes in the trunk of the car.


Figure 15: Warning signs on high voltage parts are not visible outside the vehicle

In general fire people and rescuers in the EU are well equipped to handle EV's. They will know what to do. While waiting for the ambulance and fire brigade to arrive do what you can to help the crash victims. That is your duty no matter what. Do not be afraid of the battery if it is not obviously leaking fumes, liquid or throwing sparks. High voltage parts are generally well protected and you are unlikely to get electric shock from touching the door handles or helping the occupants of the crashed vehicle.

Because electrolyte is combustible, there is always a risk of fire following an electric vehicle crash. Such a fire could start several minutes or even hours after the crash, therefore:

Crash victims, conscious or unconscious, must never be left alone in a crashed EV.

Seat buckles must be removed immediately.

Fire could ignite spontaneously at any time!


Figure 16: Chinese EV catching fire after a crash

Due to the risk of neck injury crash victims should not be removed from the vehicle if they are not in immediate danger. The best thing to do is to open the doors and help releasing the safety belts so that a quick escape is possible if the vehicle should catch fire. While waiting for professional help you must provide basic first aid.

1) Stop the accident (turn off ignition of crashed car, warn other road users, so they don't crash)
2) Call for professional aid (call 112 in Europe)
3) Release belt buckles and watch out for signs of fire or leaking battery fluid
4) Give basic 1st aid to occupants (speak to them, watch breathing, stop bleedings)