ABCB advisory note on EV charging

To support Australians making the switch to electric vehicles (EV), the National Construction Code (NCC) is requiring new buildings to be ready for EV charging. To help industry, the ABCB has published a new advisory note.

The global experience of EVs to date indicates they have a lower likelihood of being involved in a fire than internal combustion engines, but the characteristics of battery fires are different to liquid fuel fires.

To ensure we understand and respond proportionately to any updated evidence of EV risks, the ABCB has reviewed the approaches taken by international regulators, including those countries with greater uptake of EVs. We have also engaged Australian research team EV FireSafe to help develop a set of recommendations that can support the safer installation and use of EV chargers without being an unreasonable barrier to adoption.

The BMM have endorsed the publication of the ABCB Advisory Note.

“Global evidence indicates that EVs are much less likely to be involved in a fire than traditional petrol and diesel vehicles. Based on knowledge gained from around the world, our advisory note sets out some really sensible and low cost things that we can do to make charging safer for our buildings, residents and first responders.” Gary Rake, CEO of the ABCB

The recommendations set out in this advisory note are low cost, have low visual impact, are easily implementable and reflect the better practices already being adopted by many reputable suppliers. These recommendations will help reduce the risk of substandard equipment or installation practices emerging as the EV charging industry grows.

The ABCB will continue to work with other government bodies and emergency response agencies to review the latest evidence on EV charging trends from around the world. We will review and update our advisory note quarterly.

The Board appreciates that market demand for EV charging in buildings continues to grow, presenting new challenges for industry, regulators and first responders. As such, the ABCB will proceed with issuing guidance to industry to support improved safety and consistency in the installation of EV charging in buildings. The ABCB will also continue working with the Australasian Fire and Emergency Service Authorities Council (AFAC) on developing further safety mitigations as required.