December 3, 2001

Transport Canada introduces safety standard for electric vehicles

An amendment to the Motor Vehicle Safety Regulations will establish a safety standard for the protection of occupants in electric vehicles. The new standard will harmonize Canadian and U.S. requirements, and applies to electric passenger cars, multipurpose passenger vehicles, trucks and buses. "Transport Canada supports the development of alternative modes of transportation as part of its ongoing commitment to decrease the environmental effects of transportation and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions," said Transport Minister David Collenette. The amendment puts is designed to protect occupants from hazards unique to electric vehicles, such as electric shock, electrolyte spills from batteries, and potential injury arising from the battery assembly entering the passenger compartment in a car accident. An electric vehicle is defined as any vehicle that uses batteries to power an electric motor. As with all motor vehicles in Canada, electric vehicles must be certified by the manufacturer to conform with safety standards established under the Motor Vehicle Safety Act. Transport Canada held consultations on the proposed amendment with other government agencies, public safety organizations, the Electric Vehicle Association of Canada and vehicle manufacturers. The amendment was published in Part II of the Canada Gazette on November 21, 2001, and will take effect on December 1, 2001. More information is available from Christina Van Loon, Communications, 613/993-0055.
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