Recovery Operators: Working with Electric Vehicles


This document sets out information for professional recovery operators involved in the roadside recovery of electric and hybrid electric vehicles.


The high voltage (HV) systems used in these vehicles pose different hazards to those you may find on an internal combustion engine vehicle and these need to be considered while working with these vehicles.

There are many different types of vehicles incorporating electrified powertrains, including Battery Electric Vehicles (BEV), Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEV), Mild Hybrid Electric vehicles (MHEV), Range Extended Electric Vehicles (REEV) and Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles (FCEV). The term “xEV” may be used to describe any of these.


All xEVs use a battery for energy storage. The battery, along with an electric motor, can be used to propel the vehicle either by itself or in conjunction with an internal combustion engine. There are several different types of battery on different xEVs and while they may be manufactured differently, they do share common hazards.


This document has been created to help recognise if an xEV is in a condition that could pose a hazard and understand what level of training and knowledge is required for the situation in hand. This information should be used in conjunction with BS PAS 43 and the SURVIVE Group Best Practice guidelines for safe vehicle recovery operations and does not replace the need for suitable training.


This document does not consider the hazards posed by conventional powertrains (petrol or diesel) which may also be present in the case of a HEV nor does this document consider the hazards posed by the high-pressure hydrogen systems found in FCEVs.


Department for Transport March 2022



Recovery operators- working with electric vehicles
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