Close Menu

Das WeltAuto.

Used cars you can trust

EV general safety

Frequently Asked Questions

Safety rules when dealing with a high-voltage system

Is an electric vehicle more dangerous than a petrol-driven vehicle?

Those hazards which are largely present in certified electric vehicles are comparable with those in vehicles with other drive systems (fuel, gas).

What has Volkswagen done to prepare the fire service for the new drive system?

We have provided the fire service with guidelines for rescue services.

Safety measures when charging

Is charging safe in the rain?

Circuit breakers both in the battery and in the fully isolated charging cable ensure safe charging in the rain. The charging process does not start unless both cable connectors are securely connected and it has been checked on the part of the vehicle and the infrastructure that a secure connection has been made. Current will only flow then, making charging safe even in the rain.

Is charging safe in a thunderstorm? What happens in the event of a lightning strike?

As during any thunderstorm, remaining unprotected outdoors and having any contact with electrical equipment should be avoided. Damage to the vehicle's internal electrical circuits and to the charging station may result in cases of lightning strikes to the car or in its surrounding area. Charging stations therefore generally have overvoltage protection. It is best to ask the operator of the charging station about the presence of suitable protective devices.

Will I get an electric shock if the vehicle runs into a flood?

No. There is no increased risk of receiving an electric shock in water thanks to numerous safeguards in the high-voltage system.

Can I get an electric shock if a cable becomes disconnected and I touch the vehicle body?

No. For this to happen you must be in contact with both poles - that is to say, the positive and negative cable. The high-voltage battery system also contains numerous safeguards for the prevention of an electric shock.

Does the wall box have any safety-related impact on my house?

Where it has been installed in an expert manner, the charging station is integrated into the electrical safety concept of the whole house.

Can I get an electric shock if I touch the wall box plug?

No. Because the plug is designed in such a way that a finger is unable to normally reach the plug contacts. However, it is much more important that the current flow does not begin until a "hand-shake procedure" has taken place through the cable communication line. Thus, the current is only released if the plug is firmly inserted in the vehicle and both the car and the wall box have checked and confirmed the connection.

Is the cable under current if it suffers a break during the charging process?

The cable is firmly fixed both in the wall box and in the vehicle during the entire charging process and is only able to suffer a break through the use of enormous force. Should this nevertheless happen, it is safer than if a cable should break out of the wall in your house. Because the wall box and vehicle both detect the interruption to their connection and switch off the current as quickly as possible and in accordance with internationally recognised safety standards.

Is it dangerous to cut through the cable during the charging process?

Yes. It is very dangerous! It is equally as dangerous as if you would, for example, cut through the electric cable to your television set. So, please on no account do this!

Should, however, the cable be completely cut through, both the vehicle and the wall box detect the interruption to their connection and switch off the current as quickly as possible and in accordance with internationally recognised safety standards.

Can a power cut occur if I charge my electric vehicle at home on my wall box?

A power cut can only occur in the worst case if your charging station has not been connected in an expert manner. However, so that you do not end up sitting in the dark at all, our comprehensively trained electricians are at your disposal during the installation and will advise you in the best possible manner. And this will happen before you have charged your vehicle for the first time. The wall box additionally has safety functions for the prevention of power cuts. Only a few additional components and some simple actions during the installation are required for this.

Flammability of an electric vehicle and extinguishing methods

Can an electric vehicle (or the battery) burn?

Yes. Vehicle fires are possible as is also the case with conventional vehicles. A low residual risk of a delayed outbreak of fire additionally exists for electric vehicles. In particular, if damage occurs to the high-voltage battery in which the electrical and chemical energy is stored. The solid and liquid chemicals inside it may burn. However, the lithium metal will not burn.

How long does an electric vehicle burn?

That depends on the individual case. A fire in an electric vehicle can be mastered using appropriate methods for extinguishing as applied by the fire service.

What is the best method for extinguishing?

As the extinguishing process is also dependent on the situation, procedures should be carried out as for a normal vehicle fire. When doing this it is important to observe the information provided by the fire service.

Can firefighters receive electric shocks if they extinguish a vehicle fire using water?

No. A fire may be immediately extinguished using water. At the most, the water jet causes a local short-circuit on the possibly open high-voltage system, but no current flows into the water jet. And, as no elemental lithium is fitted in lithium-ion batteries, the contact with the water is also in this context no problem.

Are toxic fumes formed during a fire?

Toxic gases and smoke are released during any fire. A safe distance should therefore always be maintained to a burning vehicle. The fire service, too, acts against a battery fire using appropriate breathing apparatus as would be done for a conventional vehicle fire.

What happens if an electric vehicle burns on a ferry?

Procedures should be followed when fighting a fire on an electric vehicle as with a conventional vehicle.

What happens during a fire on an electric vehicle in an underground car park?

Comparable dangers are presented by a fire in an electric vehicle as by that in a vehicle powered by a conventional drive system. Decisive factors for the release of smoke and heat are, in addition to the battery and fuel, all those materials fitted in the vehicle. Therefore, the course of action of the fire service does not need to vary from the normal procedure in this case.

A general rule applies: underground car parks must be vacated immediately where burning vehicles are present.

Will there be restrictions on use for underground and other car parks?

In individual cases the usage of multi-storey and underground car parks are prohibited for electric vehicles. Our safety investigations have, however, shown no cause for such restrictions. But the final decision is at the discretion of each individual operator.

Health risks

Are people affected by the electromagnetic fields?

Generally not. Ultimately, the electromagnetic fields which are generated during operation are already taken into account in the planning of new vehicles. They are designed in such a way that even adverse effects experienced by especially sensitive people, such as those with medical implants, are minimised.

Safety during breakdowns and accidents

What is to be considered when towing an electric vehicle?

An electric vehicle may be towed away by an appropriate specialist company. More exact information may be obtained from the operating manual. Special safety measures must be observed when parking after a fire.

Do electric or hybrid vehicles involved in an accident have to be parked or stored in any special manner?

The following applies for electric or hybrid vehicles involved in an accident: they must be parked outdoors in a closed-off area for fire safety reasons - at a sufficient distance to other cars, buildings, flammable objects and surfaces. The parking of an electric or hybrid vehicle with a damaged battery system in an enclosed building is not recommended under any circumstances.

In addition, specific manufacturer instructions must be observed. If the high-voltage components of electric or hybrid vehicles involved in an accident are directly exposed to weather conditions, they must be covered by a weatherproof tarpaulin and marked appropriately. This must be observed in particular for vehicle deliveries outside working hours.

How long must an electric vehicle or hybrid vehicle which has been involved in an accident remain in quarantine?

Electric or hybrid vehicles involved in an accident must be securely parked in accordance with local quarantine regulations until re-igniting is no longer probable. Both the duration and further procedures - such as removal, repair or disposal - always vary from case to case and are determined by a high-voltage expert.

What should I do in the case of an accident or breakdown? And what do I need to do?

As for any accident, all occupants should leave the vehicle without delay and proceed to a safe location. The usual necessary safety and cordoning-off precautions must be undertaken.

How quickly can a vehicle start to burn after an accident?

After an accident, a fire may begin immediately, with a delay or in some cases not until even after some days - in particular if the battery has been damaged during the accident. The accident site must therefore always be secured, and all people involved brought to safety.

Can I get an electric shock after an accident if I touch the vehicle?

This is highly unlikely but may not be entirely ruled out, in particular in cases of severe accidents. If the system detects an accident in which the airbags have been triggered, the high-voltage battery and electrical system are automatically disconnected from each other. In addition, the vehicles are fitted with several varied safety mechanisms:

  1. The entire high-voltage system is designed to be protected against contact.
  2. The high-voltage system is also completely isolated from the vehicle body - a so-called electrical isolation.
  3. The high-voltage system is immediately deactivated in cases of severe accidents involving the triggering of airbags.
How is the vehicle protected against damage to the underbody?

All ID. models are especially secured by an underbody guard.

What's next

Power up and save big with the ID.4 & ID.5

Enjoy up to $18,000 off your ID.4 & ID.5 when you book today!

All units come with a minimum of 8 years of free maintenance servicing, a 8-year warranty, and 8 years of road side assistance!

Go electric the Volkswagen way with a 18-month MOON Premium Charging Package, featuring 4 free charges and 2 free car grooming sessions per month. Additionally, get an in-car dash cam, solar tinting film and your 1st year of road tax all for free!

Your browser does not seem to be up to date. Our website may not function optimally. Most browsers (but not MS Internet Explorer 11 and older) will still work fine.

We recommend that you update your web browser!
The latest version can ensure a good experience anywhere on the Internet.

Thank you for your visit and have fun,
Your Volkswagen team