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The NHTSA has proposed updating its regulations to help support hydrogen fuel cell and mild hybrid vehicle development.

The regulations of most importance is a provision to protect high-voltage sources via "physical barriers," to prevent electrical shock and injuries to occupants or first responders in an accident. EVs currently have an electrical disconnect system that breaks the conductive link to the battery in an accident.

Toyota and the Alliance of Automobile manufacturers submitted a petition arguing that the regulations should not require a mechanical disconnect system to activate in low-speed accidents, as vehicles can be effectively disabled due to minor 'fender benders.' Furthermore the Alliance claimed that the NHTSA's high-voltage definition should be readjusted to 48-volts from its current definition of 30 volts. This is to remove a development barrier for the industry as modern 48-volt systems are needed to run electric compressors and other innovative technologies.

"Since these systems are grounded to the vehicle chassis, they cannot meet FMVSS No. 305's existing electrical isolation option," the automakers said. "While it is feasible to design a 48 volt mild hybrid system that is isolated from the chassis and meets FMVSS No. 305's electrical isolation requirements, such designs involve more complexity, higher consumer costs, and higher mass resulting in reduced fuel economy and increased emissions."

The NHTSA believes its relaxed rules will allow mild hybrid technology and hydrogen fuel cells to be used in a wider range of vehicles, simplifying development work and aligning US laws with global standards.
http://www.leftlanenews.com/nhtsa-proposal-aims-to-push-fuel-cell-technology-91159.html
 

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I have received an electrical shock while working with 48 VDC circuits. Some may be less sensitive, but I believe that emergency responders are still in danger if they have to cut voltages over 30 VDC, especially with high amperages. The NHTSA should not change the 30 V limit. Only Toyota win win, and the responders will lose.
 

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Kinda figured that Toyota was behind this when I read the hydrogen fuel part in the first sentence.

As for the 48-volts, sounds like Toyota can do it but they just don't want to because it'll cost them more. With their resources, I'm sure they can figure it out.
 

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I have received an electrical shock while working with 48 VDC circuits. Some may be less sensitive, but I believe that emergency responders are still in danger if they have to cut voltages over 30 VDC, especially with high amperages. The NHTSA should not change the 30 V limit. Only Toyota win win, and the responders will lose.
Might be a good idea for them to program the system to manage power in a way that's safe in situations like that, just batch it with what ever collision systems are in place.
 

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It's in no one's interest to have some news headline that a electric vehicle killed an emergency responder. At the same time the industry needs the freedom to be able to innovate. Can't the responders just use electricity proof gloves.
 

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I know there's some high voltage gloves that are supposed to endure around 10 kv but they're cumbersome.
The main point of my concern is that there's already a system in place no matter the voltage:
EVs currently have an electrical disconnect system that breaks the conductive link to the battery in an accident.
But Toyota wants to turn this system off for what they deem as low-speed accidents or minor fender benders. The problem is, we don't really know what they consider a minor fender bender.
 

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We'd have to see how this system picks up on certain things and how it factors in what is a thread and what isn't. Bound to be a lot of things going on and some smart technology for detection.
 

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Daimler has been researching and developing fuel cells but they don't see it as a viable future option, that's why they're spend $500 million on an electric-car battery factory. So why is NHTSA throwing money at it?
 

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I think its almost a case of them being one part of helping to set the stage for brands like FCA to come in at an even better state in the industry.
 

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High voltage definition can be adjusted but the mechanical disconnect system to activate in low-speed accidents must stay. Low or high voltage, that's just a necessary function for safety reasons.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I think its almost a case of them being one part of helping to set the stage for brands like FCA to come in at an even better state in the industry.
I think that is being too generous to FCA. FCA is concentrating on other things right now. Hybrids and EVs are just not a big priority right now.
 

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That's what I noticed, some brands are still focused on making gasoline engine vehicles more efficient, Mazda is one of them and Mazda is doing it right.
 

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Increased efficiency for Gas vehicles is great but at some point, manufacturers will need to start looking at Electric or hybrid cars due to the increased market interest and the stricter emissions policies.
 

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I agree with you @Bazinga

Sooner or later, electric/hybrid cars are going to be in demand.

Pollution is like everywhere!

Electric/hybrid cars are stepping up their game with their designs and technology too.

I definitely wouldn't mind settling down for the bolt!

Would you?
 
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