LANCASTER, Pa. (WHTM) – Electric vehicle companies are still trying to find answers to make their cars safer, but that doesn’t make things any easier on tow truck drivers.
“With these newer electric cars there’s a lot we don’t know. You’re gonna learn and figure it out as you get there,” Randy Wilkinson, the vice president of Cocker’s Towing in Elizabethtown, said.
Electric vehicles are providing a new challenge for tow workers, leading to a lot of caution being taken.
“It does require a different handling,” executive director of the PA Towing Association Brian Riker said.
Cocker’s Towing has multiple pieces of equipment that can help with electric vehicles, and they cost a good amount of money.
That includes an $800 blanket that completely covers the car to try and keep a fire from happening.
“It’s basically used to put on the cars to prevent them from re-igniting or igniting. It keeps the oxygen out of it,” Wilkinson said.
Cocker’s has a remote-controlled piece of equipment that few companies have. It’s called TowTrack.
It’s designed to work in small areas and keep from damaging cars low to the ground or the battery of an electric vehicle.
“It’s a lot safer than going up and trying to push it,” Wilkinson said.
Safety remains an issue with tow workers having to pick up electric vehicles. They aren’t all the same so it takes time to figure out what you’re dealing with.
“With a lack of standardization meaning a common off switch or a common disconnect location to de-energize the vehicle, our tow operators are faced with researching vehicles on the side of the road,” Riker said.
The batteries in an electric vehicle can become a serious hazard even days after an accident.
Once an EV battery short out it burns a lot hotter,” Wilkinson said.