Hydrogen Help: NHTSA proposes EV and Hydrogen safety requirements

Toronto, Ontario — The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has recently released a proposal to establish two new Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS) for vehicles that use hydrogen as a fuel source.

The two safety proposals, FMVSS 307 and FMVSS 308 specifically aim to “reduce deaths due to hydrogen fuel leakages and/or explosion of the hydrogen storage system.”

According to the NHTSA’s proposal, FMVSS 307, “Fuel system integrity of hydrogen vehicles,” “would set requirements for the vehicle fuel system to mitigate hazards associated with hydrogen leakage and discharge from the fuel system, as well as requirements to ensure hydrogen leakage, hydrogen concentration in enclosed spaces of the vehicle and hydrogen container displacement are within safe limits in a post-crash.”

Similarly, FMVSS 307 would also establish fuel system integrity requirements for light and heavy vehicles during normal vehicle operations including protection against flammable conditions, warning for drivers about unsafe conditions and hydrogen discharge systems, among other conditions.

The report also notes light vehicles’ post-crash fuel system integrity requirements, including fuel leakage limits, concentration limits in enclosed spaces and container displacement.

Comparatively FMVSS 308, “Compressed hydrogen storage system integrity,” “would set out requirements for the performance of the compressed hydrogen storage system (CHSS) and its subcomponents during normal use.”

In this instance, FMVSS 308 would apply to the hydrogen container, check valve, shut-off valve and thermally-activated pressure relief device.

Under this safety act, the NHTSA is “proposing that the CHSS be required to include a shut-off valve and check valve and to meet specific performance requirements in terms of performance durability, on-road performance, fire prevention,” among other factors.

As a result, the NHTSA proposes that both safety recommendations be applied to all hydrogen-powered vehicles. Under proposed safety updates, vehicle manufacturers must submit standardized emergency response information for each vehicle by make, model and model year.

The safety information would also be published in an easily searchable and standardized format on the NHTSA’s website to help assist first and second responders who handle electric vehicles (EVs).

Public comments on the safety proposals close on June 17th. To see the full safety report, click below:


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