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NHTSA Announces New Safety Standard for Electric Vehicles

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government Topics:  Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards

NHTSA Announces New Safety Standard for Electric Vehicles

NHTSA
October 17, 2000

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
NHTSA 43-00
Tuesday, October 17, 2000
Contact: NHTSA, Tim Hurd, (202) 366-9550

The U.S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has published a new Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) to prevent deaths or injuries after an electric vehicle is involved in a crash.

"Safety is the top transportation priority of the Clinton-Gore administration," said Dr. Sue Bailey, NHTSA administrator. "This standard will ensure that electric vehicles do not create new safety problems on our roads."

The new standard, FMVSS No. 305, "Electric-powered Vehicles: Electrolyte Spillage and Electrical Shock Protection," will be effective Oct. 1, 2001. It applies to all vehicles that use more than 48 volts of electricity as propulsion power and that have a maximum speed of more than 25 mph. However, it will not apply to electric vehicles with a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating of more than 10,000 pounds.

Standard No. 305 specifies requirements for limitation of hazardous electrolyte spillage, retention of propulsion batteries during a crash so that they do not intrude into the passenger compartment, and isolation of the chassis from the high-voltage system to prevent electrical shock. Tests to demonstrate compliance can be combined with other crash tests.

The final rule is based upon a proposal the safety agency issued in October 1998. It is in the Sept. 27, 2000 Federal Register.

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