Electric vehicles (EV) and EV charging equipment

FRNSW endorse the position on Electric Vehicles (EV) and EV charging equipment in the built environment as published by the Australasian Fire and Emergency Service Authorities Council (AFAC), as the appropriate guidance to practitioners who design and certify any Class 2-9 building that incorporates EV parking and/or charging.

FRNSW consider EVs and EV charging stations to be special hazards under E1D17 and E2D21 of the National Construction Code (NCC) 2022. As such, the certifier should identify what additional provisions are being provided, if any, and whether the fire safety measures in the building are commensurate to the hazards and risk(s) associated with the proposed EV parking and/or charging, when certifying any related building application.

Note: FRNSW considers incidents involving electric vehicles (EVs) and EV infrastructure to currently be low frequency, but potentially high consequence, incidents that require enhanced fire safety measures in place to facilitate safe and effective fire brigade operations.

FRNSW consider that all aspects of the AFAC Position should be considered and addressed. In conjunction with the AFAC position, FRNSW recommend that EV parking and/or charging be:

  • located externally or in open air where possible.
  • if located internal to a building, the carparking area should:
    • be protected by an automatic fire sprinkler system with a performance equivalent to a system complying with AS 2118.1 or AS 2118.6; and
    • not apply concessions to fire resistance levels (FRLs) that may be provided within the NCC deemed-to-satisfy provisions.
  • protected by fire hydrant coverage.

Any request for consultation or referral to FRNSW relating to any building that intends to incorporate EV parking and/or charging, should adequately identify the hazards and risks and demonstrate how they are being addressed within the design. The ‘recognised person’ should address the special hazards and how the provisions of this position statement and the AFAC Position have been considered and addressed.

Note: A ‘recognised person’ means a person who is both an accredited practitioner (fire safety) and a fire safety engineer under the Environmental Planning and Assessment (Development Certification and Fire Safety) Regulation 2021.

Position statement summary

Updated: 4th June 2024