With a history in safety leadership, Volvo Car USA donated a fully electric XC40 Recharge vehicle to the FDNY yesterday to help further the cause of post-accident safety involving battery electric vehicles (BEV).
After an accident, one of the most important tasks emergency services need to accomplish is the safe extrication of vehicle occupants. While FDNY has been saving lives in conventionally powered vehicles for decades, the rise of all-electric vehicles presents new challenges. BEVs feature a large primary battery and high voltage wiring that may change where first responders should attempt to cut into the vehicle. Additionally, a car with as much ultra-high-strength steel as a Volvo XC40 Recharge requires specialized extrication procedures.
The FDNY will use the donated vehicle to help update training procedures and real-life protocols when it comes to battery powered vehicles, with the aim to both quickly and safely extricate passengers and keep first responders safe.
Anders Gustafsson, Senior Vice President, Volvo Car Corporation, and President and CEO, Volvo Car USA, and Eric Miller, Vice President of the Northeast Region for Volvo Car USA, were at Volvo Cars Manhattan to hand over the keys to representatives of the FDNY and members of Manhattan’s Rescue Company 1. “As the automotive industry and Volvo Cars in particular speed toward an electric future, our world will see changes that reach far beyond how drivers power their cars. This includes the experience first responders will have with these vehicles,” said Eric Miller. “The XC40 Recharge we have donated will help ready the FDNY for this future, and we’re proud to support them as they continue the vital work of protecting the communities they serve.”
“With the number of electric vehicles on the road growing each day, it’s critical that FDNY members have the ability to train on extrications, fires, and other potential incidents involving them,” said Fire Commissioner Daniel A. Nigro. “Thanks to the FDNY Foundation’s support and this generous donation from Volvo Cars, our members will be even better trained and more prepared to respond to these incidents and continue to bravely protect New Yorkers”
The XC40 Recharge features traditional Volvo safety to help keep drivers and passengers safe but also has many safety features to help keep first responders safe, too. These include a dedicated battery safety cage and independently sealed and cooled battery modules to prevent damage and leaks, brightly colored high voltage wiring to prevent unintentional contact, and an easily accessible deactivation switch to shut down all high voltage power.