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Grumpy Cabbie

Should Hybrids, Plug Ins & Ev's Have Special Number Plates?

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Now I know Americans often come out with some crazy rules which make even the EU look lame but the following one got me thinking and I believe it might actually have some merit.

Should hybrids, plus ins and EV's have a special number plate? Now if they did it would make it easier for using bus lanes in some cities or should that you are entitled to park in an EV bay if applicable etc. But the other main reason as indicated in the article is that as there are now so many different models of vehicles which contain high voltage parts that first responders in a serious accident could put themselves at risk. You'd not want a fireman inadvertantly cutting the big orange HV cable in error because he thought the car was just a petrol Auris for example. If the car had an official different colour number plate or an 'EV' emblem on the right of the plate, they could know right from the start the car contained a serious Battery and proceed accordingly.

http://www.greencarreports.com/news/1075673_is-it-a-hybrid-or-electric-car-in-massachusetts-check-the-plate

What's you views guys? Do the Americans have something here or not?

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How many first responders have been killed/seriously injured from HV components in Hybrid or Electric vehicles?

We already have super spy network in the UK, the police can access in real-time, information about the car from the license plate.

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None as yet but it's only a matter of time and then the resulting bad publicity would make us more ridiculed and hated.

The benefits of an exclusive number plate outweigh the negatives. Sure I'm not a fan of the Government tracking us and the like, but this isn't like that. It's just a number plate that makes it more obvious that we have 250 volts DC in the back. I know there are safety features in the car to cut that supply off in an accident BUT that might fail the odd time. What about an EV or hybrid that's flooded over the wheels? Will you drop dead (High voltage DC is nasty) the second you touch it to attach a tow rope?

The benefits are being able to use bus lanes in some cities and be immediately obvious that you're able to use them. Another problem that seems to cause problems for the EV and future plug in users is a petrol/diesel car parked in an EV charge bay. When a traffic warden is informed, they just shrug their shoulders and say they were told it was electric. If it didn't have a proposed EV plate they could be towed away and thus giving them time to learn their lesson.

I initially thought a sticker might have helped similar to the HOV lane sticker in California or the LPG sticker on cars here, but that could easily be abused. Just stick an EV sticker on your Prius and say it's a plug in and park for free. An special EV number plate avoids this.

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Personally, I wouldn't play the same dirty political games that professional liars use when they want something.

Edit: Logically, I can not see why Hybrid or EV should be allowed in the bus lanes, as they are the cars that produce the least pollution. We should probably allow the most polluting vehicles into the bus lanes that way we would get them through the city as quickly as possible, because when they are stuck in traffic idling (probably diesel) they produce far more waste than a petrol Hybrid or EV. :blow:

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I initially thought a sticker might have helped similar to the HOV lane sticker in California or the LPG sticker on cars here, but that could easily be abused. Just stick an EV sticker on your Prius and say it's a plug in and park for free. An special EV number plate avoids this.

Wouldn't number plates be subject to exactly the same abuse? Is there anything to stop you from making your own, providing that it meets the relevant criteria for design and layout etc.

I am not familiar with the arrangement in many of the States of the US but in the one that I know best, I'm pretty sure that new plates are issued annually on payment of the tax due and they are in effect the equivalent of our Vehicle Excise Duty disc. I am also pretty sure that only the State is allowed to manufacture them (in prison workshops?).

That would lead me to our VED disc as the place to give the information, but it would have to be a lot more obvious than it is now and it would still be pretty vulnerable in an accident.

Perhaps the answer is to require manufacturers to incorporate a distinctive plate, front and rear. It still wouldn't solve the problem of detailed technical differences between vehicles, but it would give a clear first warning.

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Perhaps the answer is to require manufacturers to incorporate a distinctive plate, front and rear. It still wouldn't solve the problem of detailed technical differences between vehicles, but it would give a clear first warning.

What about an illuminous green border around the plate with a hologram mark with strict rules that anything similar on a non registered hybrid/ev leaves you open to prosecution? Assuming plod actually bothers lol.

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Another problem that seems to cause problems for the EV and future plug in users is a petrol/diesel car parked in an EV charge bay. When a traffic warden is informed, they just shrug their shoulders and say they were told it was electric. If it didn't have a proposed EV plate they could be towed away and thus giving them time to learn their lesson.

The easy solution to that one is, if it ain't plugged in give it a ticket, whether it's an EV or not. Hogging a charging bay is selfish if you're not charging up.

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And to get around the free parking all day all one has to do is get a dummy plug and lead and pretend. Free parking and hogging a space at the same time. Let alone the original idea which was to stop confusion with first attenders cutting a cable on an EV or hybrid thinking the car was just bog standard.

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Would people have had the same argument when LPG tanks were introduced as you have a large pressure cylinder in the boot that could be vulnerable to puncture or fire.?

Again if hydrogen cars are introduced.

How many different number plates do we need?

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You try taking an LPG car into some underground carparks or tunnels inc the channel tunnel. With hydrogen being under pressure of about 30,000 psi you'll have even more fun trying to take that places.

I've actually posted this particular thread on a number of related forums and it's bizarre the different views the different forums have. The EVers are all for it, the Americans are all for it, it appears the Norwegians already have it but the UK hybrid owners aren't.

I'd be curious to see what an actual firefighter thinks of the idea as they'll be the ones cutting you out of your tangled mess after an accident

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I dunno, it could get silly; You could extend the argument to have a different plate for all sorts of stuff which is common sense now but would then be subject to legal interference and oversight - Special plates for petrol cars (Explosive hazard), for diesel cars (Slippery hazard), lpg (Explosive), disabled-modified cars (Special considerations needed), bikes (Only got two wheels) etc.

Then as bureaucracy follows its usual pattern, eventually we'll end up with a bunch of stat panel attachment points on the car that hold cards with a hazard assessment of the car and medical, criminal, financial and insurance record data cards which have to be renewed every year by each person who wishes to be a passenger...

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It could get silly if you let it.

First attenders are familiar with petrol and diesel and whilst being dangerous they know how to deal with it. An EV or hybrid can look like a normal car but has a 250v DC lead running down the middle. Cut that and you're dead. I thought it was a sensible suggestion with many positives for use as drivers but I guess not. I do appreciate that often the EU or Government have hidden agendas when they introduce something like this so people are usually wary, but if we have a similar system in the UK to Georgia and Norway, then we could enjoy benefits like free parking or access to city centers for being environmentally friendly to city air quality.

Sitting on the UK and US forums I do notice a different attitude to change between the two. We in the UK are so resistive to change and often not for any good reason (generally). Heading back to EV's, the Leaf has only sold 350 cars this year on top of the 700 last year, yet petrol is £1.30 a litre. In America they sell something like 1,500 a month, the car costs about the same with import duty and vat deducted, and Americans enjoy longer commutes and petrol at $3.00 for 3.5 litres. How come a car that saves fuel doesn't sell here, yet in America where fuel is a third the price, they're lapping them up?

Are we all just stick in the muds, loath to try anything new or consider new ideas without dwelling on the negatives first? The more I see, the more I fear that to be the case.

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Grumpy, if I recall correctly you are against DRL which has lots of papers and reports written many countries have passed laws. Yet the risk of elecrocution from a hybrid has very little evidence and very few countries have passed laws. I find it curious that you appear to have double standards when it comes to safety.

There are lots of risks in life but we cant wrap evrrthing up in cotton wool.

As to the supposed benefits. Gen 2 owners have already losing access to the london congestion charge and Gen 3 owners are likely to lose that in time.

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So when the fire service arrive at your blazing house and your screaming at a top window to be rescued the fire fighters will wait until the local electriity grid and gas are shut off. I don't think so. Believe it or not tyres provide a good ground earth.

When air-bags where first introduced many cars had a warning sign embedded into the glass on all glass windows to warn rescue and breakdown services so there is no reason why manufacturers couldn't add a similar type sign for leccie or hybrid cars.

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If you had bare skin contact with a bare metal part of the car body (to act as the earth) and then touched the positive 201V DC wire then I guess you could be electrocuted? If you have bare skin contact with the positive and negative wires of the 201V DC supply that you could be electrocuted?

I'm assuming the high voltage negative Battery terminal isn't connected to the car body, anyone know?

Normally, I would think that the first responders would be wearing gloves, the medical people ought to be wearing latex gloves because there is a possibility of contact with bodily fluids and the firemen should have heavy duty gloves to protect them.

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Hi it seems to me that anything on the number plate is likely to be destroyed in a front or rear end crash so rendering it useless also haven't the manufacture's got a built in safety in which the 200 v Battery is disconnected in a accident at least it did when I was rear ended. I know any safety can fail but how far do you have to go to be safe.

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As long as the first attenders know where the 12v Battery is on the Prius and cut the earth strap then the HV Battery is isolated and the cables are dead.

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As long as the first attenders know where the 12v battery is on the Prius and cut the earth strap then the HV battery is isolated and the cables are dead.

If the car is in Ready mode, disconnecting the 12V Battery would not isolate the HV Battery, as the 201.6V DC from the HV Battery would provide the 12V via the DC to DC converter.

An analogy might help - It is a similar situation in a regular car, if you disconnect the 12V Battery when the engine is running, the alternator would still generate the 12V supply.

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Hi it seems to me that anything on the number plate is likely to be destroyed in a front or rear end crash so rendering it useless.

Perhaps cars with an HV Battery could have a 'high voltage' warning sign etched on the windows etc? Makes more sense than a special number plate.

High Voltage

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Now I know Americans often come out with some crazy rules which make even the EU look lame but the following one got me thinking and I believe it might actually have some merit.

Should hybrids, plus ins and EV's have a special number plate? Now if they did it would make it easier for using bus lanes in some cities or should that you are entitled to park in an EV bay if applicable etc. But the other main reason as indicated in the article is that as there are now so many different models of vehicles which contain high voltage parts that first responders in a serious accident could put themselves at risk. You'd not want a fireman inadvertantly cutting the big orange HV cable in error because he thought the car was just a petrol Auris for example. If the car had an official different colour number plate or an 'EV' emblem on the right of the plate, they could know right from the start the car contained a serious battery and proceed accordingly.

http://www.greencarr...check-the-plate

What's you views guys? Do the Americans have something here or not?

I think that the idea has a lot of merit. LPG vehicles could do with fairly obvious identification too. Something like a special symbol on the number plates would help to identify hazards to the emergency services. By the way, is Grumpy still out there?

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Thanks GC for posting this.

I'm all for it. For safety and convenience reasons. Perhaps I'm an American at heart? :D

Especially relevant nowadays when Toyota is producing HSD versions across their range; so there may be little visually to identify an HSD vehicle from its petrol / diesel siblings.

Great idea. :thumbsup:

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We regularly loan Hybrid cars to the local Fire Service for training purposes. No they dont cut the roof off it, but they do train their people to deal with the HV side of things. Everyone talks on here like they are stupid and might just "bump" into a Hybrid and not know what to do as a first responder :rolleyes: Fist responders are well versed in what to do at the scene, not just on the HV side, but also the problems of toxic chemicals given off modern cars in the event of a fire (far more serious in my book, and a lot more likely) lets give them a bit of credit eh?

Kingo :thumbsup:

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