Leading a Global Shift in Safety for EV Charging Sites

  • arteliaadmin
  • No Comments
EVC Fire Risk Assessment header image

Article by Gabriella Dimitrov, Artelia UK HSSE Manager

While Electric Vehicle (EV) fires to date are relatively rare, the rapid uptake of EVs suggest they may become more common place. This point was not lost on Gabriella Dimitrov, Artelia UK’s HSSE Manager, who identified that more needed to be done to understand the risk and take preventative measures when delivering EV Charging infrastructure.

EV fires generally occur when the battery is physically damaged or the battery management system fails causing it to overheat. During an EV fire, some incredibly toxic and explosive gases are generated, including hydrogen fluoride and hydrogen cyanide – both of which are fatal to humans.

EVC Fire Risk Assessment Considerations
EVC Fire Risk Assessment Considerations

Forecourts with an EV offer, or an EV charger installed on 3rd party property, such as a supermarket carpark, multistorey or underground carpark, can present new challenges to managing the risks of fire, explosion, public safety, and environmental protection. Many of these sites were never designed to withstand the extreme heat of an EV or multiple car fire and lack sprinkler or misting systems.

Leading a partnership with APEA Award winners, EV-EXBOX, who have extensive experience in fire protection to forecourts, Gabriella implemented a process to deliver industry-leading risk assessments across Artelia’s EV charging projects.

Mitigating risk at design stage is critical. Consequently, Gabriella and EV-EXBOX have organised workshops with stakeholders, including client teams, architects, project managers and contractors to highlight the risks and clarify new requirements, so the new risk assessment is fully embedded in the design process.

Artelia is proud to be playing a pivotal role in highlighting the importance of EV fire risk assessments to design and contractor teams not just in the UK but also to our global project teams, thereby enhancing safety standards across the industry.