December 18, 2017

On September 27, 2017 NHTSA Published a Final Rule Amending FMVSS 305 “Electric-powered vehicles: Electrolyte spillage and electric shock protection” (49 CFR 571.305) to Adopt Various Requirements found in GTR No. 13.

DATES: The standard is effective on September 27, 2017.  Compliance must occur by September 27, 2018, but optional early compliance is permitted.

SUMMARY:  NHTSA is issuing this final rule to FMVSS No. 305, to adopt various electrical safety requirements found in Global Technical Regulation (GTR) No. 13, ‘‘Hydrogen and fuel cell vehicles,’’ and other sources. NHTSA believes that this final rule updates FMVSS No. 305 using modern and harmonized safety requirements and facilitates the introduction of new technologies, including hydrogen fuel cell vehicles (HFCVs) and 48-volt mild hybrid technologies.

NHTSA states that the rule is a deregulatory action and that it imposes no costs. It adjusts FMVSS No. 305 to give more flexibility to manufacturers to use modern electrical safety designs to produce electric vehicles and to introduce new technologies to the U.S. market.

To expand FMVSS No. 305’s performance requirements beyond post-crash conditions, NHTSA adopted electrical safety requirements to protect against direct and indirect contact of high voltage sources during everyday operation of electric-powered vehicles. Also, NHTSA adopted an optional method of meeting post-crash electrical safety requirements, consistent with that in GTR No. 13, involving use of physical barriers to prevent direct or indirect contact (by occupants, emergency services personnel and others) with high voltage sources.