NFPA wins award for encouraging preparedness for electric vehicle adoption

Published: Oct. 27, 2020 at 12:31 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - The National Fire Protection Association has been awarded a Department of Energy award for encouraging community preparedness for the adoption of electric vehicles.

The National Fire Protection Association says it has been given an award from the U.S. Department of Energy to help drive community preparedness for electric vehicle growth. It said it will oversee the three-year project in partnership with the DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Vehicle Technologies Office’s Clean Cities Coalition network, which helps communities evaluate their EV infrastructure, training programs, incentives and code compliance readiness, and formulating a plan that will raise awareness and speed the safe adoption of EVs across the country.

According to NFPA, reports show there are over 1 million electrified vehicles currently on U.S. roads and that number is projected to reach over 18 million in 2030. It said still, few communities have been able to properly assess their EV preparedness and develop plans to integrate, educate and incentivize this emerging technology into their municipality.

NFPA said through the project, it will develop a state of the art online training tools and associated materials like videos, presentations, a toolkit and guidebooks. It said it will update and expand existing law enforcement and tow and salvage operator alternative fuel vehicle safety training programs to reflect the latest safety knowledge and tactics. It said it will also expand its web-based training programs to include charging station installers, code officials, utilities, manufacturers/dealerships, fleet owners, garages/maintenance facilities, insurance companies and vehicle owners.

According to the organization, after completing updated work, it will also help advise and assist selected CCCs as they do 30 Community Preparedness Assessment Workshops over two years across the country for local community EV stakeholders. It said the workshops help encourage the setup of cooperative plans and provide education beyond the project period that will bring greater private and public acceptance of purchasing and accommodating electric vehicles in each community.

“The DOE funding opportunity gives NFPA the platform to raise awareness of the importance of community preparedness planning and collaboration for electric vehicle adoption among key stakeholders,” said Andrew Klock, NFPA Emerging Issues Lead Manager. “As a result, we will see a greater understanding of these vehicles and their benefits, and it will allow for more incentives for ownership, increased safety, and a more accommodating infrastructure.”

The NFPA said recognized by emergency responders as the EV safety training authority, it has worked with several major safety organizations and numerous national laboratories on EV safety issues. It said it has been awarded two separate awards to develop and enhance its Electric Vehicle Safety programs for first and second responders that talk about passenger vehicles, electrified trucks, buses, commercial fleets and charging infrastructures. It said it currently offers multiple world-class EV safety training programs and provides resources like an Emergency Field Guide and associated reference materials.

According to the organization, the project began in October of 2020 and the final deliverables are expected to be finished by October of 2023.

For more information on the NFPA’s training program, click here.

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