With the drive to ‘go green,’ hybrid and electric vehicles have increased on our roads year on year. Driven by government policies on emissions and incentives, this has led to more and more manufacturers featuring ‘greener’ vehicles within their ranges.

With several types of ‘green’ vehicle now being mass-produced, garages are more likely to encounter some form of an electric or hybrid vehicle. Servicing electric vehicles requires tools that are right for the job, here at Automotive Tools we have a range of tools and equipment suitable for performing operations on all the various electric car types.

Electric Vehicle Types

  • Battery Electric Vehicles (BEV) – These are wholly electric vehicles powered by a battery. Currently, most electric cars have a range of up to 100 miles or more.
  • Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEV) – These have a battery range of over 10 miles. After the battery range has been utilised, the vehicle reverts to conventional hybrid operation, using both battery power and an internal combustion engine.
  • Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEV) – These vehicles are powered by a traditional internal combustion engine and electric motors, which use both battery and regenerative braking as power sources. The vehicle selects the power source automatically and the battery is recharged by both the internal combustion engine and regenerative braking.
  • Mild Hybrid (mHEV) – These have many configurations and may have an electrical supercharger that provides a boost as the engine starts up or allows the engine to be turned off whenever the car is coasting, braking, or stopped and yet restart quickly. They don’t provide the same fuel economy as full hybrid vehicles. This is because they don’t have an electric-only mode of power.

Electric Vehicle Safety Equipment

Due to workshops being more likely to encounter these high-voltage vehicles, it’s paramount that you create suitable areas to help you work on them.

Electric vehicles charging

Electric Vehicle Tools

Here at Automotive Tools, we provide the electric vehicle tooling and equipment to safely work on and around these vehicles, specialising in the following four key areas:

Workshop Safety

This creates a suitable area around a high voltage vehicle when it is being worked on that only trained technicians should be inside. Displaying warning signs and barriers should stop anyone coming into contact with the present high voltages. Should the worst happen, an insulated rescue pole is available.

Vehicle Safety

After disconnecting and powering down high voltage vehicles, several precautions should be taken to keep the vehicle in this state. Do Not Start tags and padlocks can be used to stop technicians accidentally putting each other at risk. 1000V insulated transparent shrouding can be used to cover high voltage components when working on other parts of the vehicle, such as the petrol engine.

Personal Safety

This is paramount for technicians working on EVs. 1000V insulated gloves should be worn, alongside protective face shields in case of arcing.

High Voltage Tools and Testers

Finally, the tools used whilst working on high voltage vehicles should be insulated, tested and certified. We provide a wide range of VDE tools and testers (available with calibration certificates).

Even when not working on live circuits, you should use VDE tools. This is because there could be a problem with the vehicle itself, or, a simple mistake such as dropping a standard tool onto a live circuit can result in an arc flash.

If you’d like find out more about our hybrid and electric vehicle equipment, or, you’re unsure of what you’ll require, please get in touch today and a member of the Automotive Tools team will help you out.