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U.S. Department of Transportation U.S. Department of Transportation Icon United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation

CMVRTC: Electric Commercial Motor Vehicle Exploratory Research

Project Goal:

Develop a safety strategy for electric CMV operations and maintenance. This will consist of assessments of nominal inspections and maintenance of electric vehicles and their associated components. A failure mode and effects analysis will be conducted to look at what can go wrong during these processes. The potential failure modes will be classified and used to assess the severity, likelihood of occurrence, and the ability to detect.


CMVs are crucial to the Nation's economy and supply chain and populate the Nation's roads, highways, ports, and businesses. Although not a majority of the vehicle population, CMVs contribute significant greenhouse case emissions due to their high fuel consumption and mileage. To support the President's Climate and Sustainability goals, including net-zero emissions by 2050, FMCSA will examine safety issues pertaining to electric CMVs to ensure their safe introduction to the national fleet. R&T's past work on electric CMVs resulted in a training course in safe inspection practices; the current effort is intended to support similar outcomes to promote safety amid growing deployment of electric CMVs.


A literature will be conducted to review and assess potential safety issues and identify opportunities and gaps in current knowledge. This review will involve cooperation with other Government agencies, industry partners such as the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance, and R&T's standard portfolio planning oversight team, including the Research Executive Board. Research will focus on grounding more specific projects aligned with R&T's safety mission and relevant Administration priorities. This review will take a broad look at the overall safety of electric vehicles to include:
• Current standards/developments
• Movement of vehicle and components to end-user
• In-use nominal operations factors including inspections
• Service and maintenance of vehicle
• Emergency/failure management
• End of life/recycling/repurposing
• Charging infrastructure challenges