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The center of gravity of almost every vehicle was in the front where the engine is located for most vehicles. That was until the hybrid and electric vehicles (EV) hit the streets. Now the heaviest part of a vehicle can be the floor or the trunk area. So what does this mean for a side or roof resting hybrid or EV vehicle? Just a couple of things.

First off, identify the vehicle as a hybrid or EV. This is done by looking at the badging of the vehicle. Hybrid and EV vehicles. Identification of these labels is one method. Look for a charging port that is often covered by a door much like the fuel filler door. The automakers have many different identification badging that label Hybrid and EV vehicles. Below is a small sample.

hybrid identification badge

Secondly, how should you stabilize a side resting EV vehicles? The technique and methods are no different than a conventional vehicle. High Voltage batteries are heavy and the location of it in the vehicle will affect how stable it is when the tires are no longer contacting the pavement. Cribbing and struts are the best tools to use. However, on a side resting vehicle that has the battery located in the floor pan would require the rescuers not to use a piercing tip on a strut. Make sure the strut tip is placed on a structural component of the vehicle. Using a tieback system as shown below is another option to stabilization the vehicle which leaves the clean side free on any struts.

In Summary

The stabilization of hybrid and electric vehicles is completed with the tools and equipment that we currently use. The only difference is the location of struts on the dirty side of the vehicle and the stability of the vehicle will vary based on the location of the high voltage battery.

Mike Smith, Absolute Rescue's Editor in Chief, is a veteran of the fire/rescue service in Michigan, who also works in the automotive industry as a designer. Have an idea of suggestion for the site? Contact Mike here

Battalion Assignments

Battalion Assignments: Ratchet Strap Basics



Ratchet Straps Tips

  • Ratchet straps should be inspected after every use. Inspect the strap for irregularities in shape or weave, cuts or frays, excessive wear, and discoloration from chemical, fuel, or oil contamination. Never place a ratchet strap back into service without inspected it.
  • The ratchet will remain stationary and the loose strap tighten up.
  • Always consider rescuer safety and patient safety and use hard and soft protection.
  • Just like ropes, straps need protection from sharp edges.
  • You need at least 3 wraps of strap on the drum and the handle must be in the lock position to obtain the manufacturers strength.
  • Ratchet Straps are used with stabilization struts but can also be used to marry to vehicles together.  Cluster hook assemblies are very useful with ratchet straps.
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