Electric vehicle owners, charging stations advised to adhere to safety norms

Fire accidents can be avoided if proper protective gear and standard equipment are put to use, says official

October 09, 2022 11:33 pm | Updated 11:33 pm IST - VIJAYAWADA

Fire accidents in electric vehicle showrooms and at houses of e-vehicle owners can be avoided if proper protective gears are put in place and standard equipment used to charge the vehicles, say authorities of the Directorate of Electrical Safety.

About ten incidents of electric vehicles going up in flames have been reported in West Godavari, NTR and other districts in the State in the last few months. Nine persons were killed when fire broke out in an electric vehicle godown in Secunderabad a few days ago.

“All electric vehicle charging stations should be designed, installed and certified as per the safety norms,” Director of Electrical Safety G. Vijayalakshmi told The Hindu.

Explaining the precautions to be taken while charging the vehicles, she said the charging stations should ensure there was no overloading of input and output devices. “Adaptors should not be used. Portable sockets should also not be used to charge vehicles,” she added.

Owners should ensure that the vehicles are parked at a distance of five metres from the charging points. Suitable lightning protection system should be in place at the charging stations. The charging points should also be equipped with a device to check uncontrolled reverse power flow from the vehicle.

“Showroom and vehicle owners should follow international standards. In a few cases, the vehicle owners are using substandard sockets, chargers and other equipment, besides overcharging the vehicles,” Ms. Vijayalakshmi, who is also the Chief Electrical Inspector, said.

Stressing the need for proper earthing, she said firefighting, fire detection, alarm and control systems should be provided as per relevant Indian standards at all charging stations.

Each charging station should be tested by the electrical inspector or a chartered electrical safety engineer before being put to use. Owners of charging stations should also ensure inspection of the facility every year.

“Records of inspection, testing and observations made by the safety engineer should be maintained for future assessment,” she said.

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