Making electric car crash rescues safer

Euro NCAP first responder app shows emergency services the location of high-voltage batteries and cables

A new smartphone app by crash-test body Euro NCAP aims to make car accidents safer for emergency services and first responders by alerting them to the location of high-voltage batteries and wires – key components in electric cars that pose significant risks if cut improperly or damaged.

Car makers are already obliged to make ‘rescue sheets’ for their vehicles, indicating where firefighters should cut them if they need to remove a car’s roof, for example.

From this year, Euro NCAP is awarding points in its crash tests based on whether or not this information is “readily available”, a response to the fact that as cars become more complex, “knowing where it’s safe to cut a vehicle should extrication be required is increasingly challenging”.

The new smartphone app – dubbed Euro Rescue – goes some way to making life easier for emergency services by gathering these rescue sheets together in one resource, which can be accessed both on and offline. As well as telling fire crews where high-voltage EV components are, the app informs them where airbags, and seatbelt pretensioners are located on all cars, vital information given these safety features contain explosive materials.

The app is available to download for free for Android and Apple smartphones, and has been developed in conjunction with the International Association of Fire & Rescue Services. It is initially available in English, French, German and Spanish, with all European languages being covered from 2023.

Pierre Castaing, President of Euro NCAP said: “This Euro Rescue application, the result of joint work between manufacturers, fire and rescue services and Euro NCAP, is the first visible result of the progress that can be made in terms of tertiary safety; others are to come.”

Hugo Griffiths

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