The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has received an award from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to help communities prepare for electric vehicle (EV) growth in the U.S. NFPA will oversee the three-year project in partnership with the DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Vehicle Technologies Office’s Clean Cities Coalitions (CCC) network. The goal of the collaboration is to assist cities and towns with evaluation of their EV infrastructure, training programs, incentives, and code compliance readiness because, according to reports, there are more than one million electrified vehicles currently on U.S. roadways and that number is expected to reach more than 18 million by 2030.
Few communities have been able to properly assess their EV preparedness and develop plans to integrate, educate, and incentivize this emerging technology so NFPA will develop state-of-the-art online training modules and associated materials such as videos, presentations, a toolkit, and guidebooks. The Association will also update and expand its existing law enforcement and tow and salvage operator alternative fuel vehicles safety training programs to reflect the latest knowledge and response tactics. Additionally, NFPA will also expand its EV web-based training programs to include modules for EV stakeholders that may not have taken the training in the past (charging station installers, code officials, utilities, manufacturers/dealerships, fleet owners, garages/maintenance facilities, insurance companies, and vehicle owners).
After completing the updated coursework, NFPA will also advise and assist selected CCCs as they conduct 30 Community Preparedness Assessment Workshops for local EV stakeholders around the country. The workshops, which will take place over the course of two years, will encourage the development of cooperative plans and provide education so that communities are more accepting and accommodating of electric vehicles.
Recognized by U.S. emergency responders as the EV safety training authority, NFPA has worked with several major safety organizations and numerous national laboratories on EV safety issues. The Association has been awarded two separate DOE awards to develop and enhance its Electric Vehicle Safety Programs for first- and second-responders. That training content covered passenger vehicles, electrified trucks, buses, commercial fleets, and their charging infrastructures. NFPA currently offers multiple world-class EV safety training programs and provides resources such as an Emergency Field Guide and associated reference materials.
The new DOE project begins this month with final deliverables expected in October 2023. In the meantime, check out NFPA’s electric and alternative fuel vehicles safety training program.