Ever wonder what would happen if you needed the Jaws of Life to pry you out of your electric vehicle? Would rescue workers be worried about electrocution or some other slip-up caused by the massive instrument? It’s a real concern, and to help educate rescue workers, Tesla made the video below that walks the viewer through what would happen if they were ever stuck in a Tesla and needed the Jaws of Life to get them safely out of their vehicle.
The video opens to display a Tesla factory, with Brock Archer and Ron Moore as the hosts. The Tesla Roadster and Model S are used as the test vehicles to show responders what needs to be done with electric vehicles.
Module one explains the importance of electrical circuits and the importance of responders understanding “the concept of an electrical circuit, or the path that electrical currents will follow,” says, Brock Archer. In order for an individual to receive a shock, they must come into contact with or between both sides of the circuit.
The next module talks about the high voltage components on electric vehicles. Many electric vehicles are equipped with regenerative braking, thanks to the inverter converter unit. The inverter converter unit should never be cut or crushed as it contains high voltage, as inside the inverter converter unit are high voltage capacitors. These capacitors store and release energy, and can release 400 volts in an instant. This unit is located under the hood, making it important for responders to not cut or disturb this area.
“All orange cabling found in hybrids and electric vehicles are high voltage, however, not all high voltage cables are orange. If you find a large colored cable, it may very well be a high voltage cable and that you’re dealing with an electric vehicle,” comments Ron Moore, making sure safety responders and understand what they are seeing in the event of an accident or other roadside incident involving an electric vehicle.
Module three explains vehicle identification and charging. The automaker will formally identify on the exterior of their vehicle that it is electric with exterior badging. It might say electric or ev, or even have unique names.
Informally, this might not be seen until the hood is opened where words or cabling distinguish the vehicle as hybrid or electric. The interior will also have markers. Responders can pick up exterior formal and interior formal badges to help identify an electric vehicle. It’s important for responders to expect to be dealing with an electric vehicle until otherwise identified to avoid any missteps.
Module four talks about how to disable high voltage. It’s important to shut down the high voltage and isolate it to the battery by opening up the contacts. Safety disconnects are built in to ev’s for first responders, and are found in the hood and rear and are clearly marked. Simply cutting the wires in the disconnect area will take the power away, isolating voltage to the battery.
Batteries are found in multiple locations in a vehicle like in the hood, under seats, or in the luggage area, and should be disconnected by cutting the negative terminal first, and then the positive terminal. Service disconnects are located on the batteries themselves. Manufacturers recommend that only service personnel use the service disconnect.
Module five shows operational considerations at incidents involving electric vehicles. The center of gravity in electric vehicles can be off, which many responders aren’t accustomed to. Responders should avoid the floor panel as larger batteries are commonly found in the floor panel.
The video then takes the viewer into why many are watching it: The Tesla Model S gets taken apart piece-by-piece by the Jaws of Life. Doors and the hood are removed first in order for the first responders to access the body structure of the vehicle. The response team demonstrates how to work around an exposed converter when trying to roll back the dash. If you love or hate the Tesla Model S, seeing one get ripped apart is something you’ve just got to see.
Source: Tesla via YouTube