New standards to accelerate electric and hydrogen vehicle safety in Australia
These standards constitute a national approach aimed at enhancing safety for road users, first responders, technicians, and communities.
The Australian Government has implemented new safety standards for electric and hydrogen-fuelled vehicles.
The comprehensive safety measures address crucial safety aspects, including protection against direct contact with high-voltage live parts, battery electrolyte, and compressed hydrogen leakage in case of a crash involving these vehicles. This move comes in response to industry demands and follows extensive community consultation, where stakeholders supplied feedback on specific requirements, timing, and the scope of vehicles covered.
The standards, aligned with United Nations regulations, ensure that Australian consumers can access the safest vehicles from the global market at a reasonable cost. This alignment promotes consistency with international safety norms and reflects the government's commitment to prioritizing safety in the rapidly evolving landscape of electric and hydrogen-fuelled vehicles.
Acknowledging the growing popularity of electric vehicles in Australia, the government recognizes their lower maintenance costs, reduced fuel expenses, diminished CO2 emissions, and improved driver experience. By mandating these safety standards now, authorities aim to ease the increased uptake of these vehicles while supporting a steadfast focus on safety.
To provide the automotive industry with ample time to adapt, the standards will be phased in over the coming years. Although manufacturers can already meet these standards, the first compulsory compliance dates are set to take effect from November 2024, marking a strategic transition period for the industry.
The new standards are Australian Design Rule (ADR) 109/00 and 109/01 – Electric powertrain safety requirements and ADR 110/00 – Hydrogen fuelled vehicle safety related performance.