EV Disabler


EASTON, MD - Volunteer fire companies across Talbot County are now equipped with life-saving technology known as emergency plugs, designed to deactivate electric vehicles in the event of an accident.

Philip Starkey, President of the Talbot County Fire and Rescue Association, explained the functionality of the emergency plugs, also referred to as electric vehicle disablers. "It fakes the computer system out on the car thinking 'oh I'm being charged,' so it puts the brake on and shuts it off, making the car believe the batteries are being charged," Starkey said.

Traditionally, fire departments would deactivate gas-powered cars following accidents. However, determining whether electric vehicles are still operational has presented safety challenges. Chief Sonny Jones of the Easton Volunteer Fire Department highlighted a recent incident in New York City where a firefighter was injured due to an electric vehicle collision. "The occupant was injured, disoriented, and inadvertently pressed the gas pedal, running over a couple of firefighters and causing serious injuries," Jones stated.

Moreover, the risk of motor overheating in electric vehicles poses a fire hazard. To address these concerns, each fire department in Talbot County has received one of these emergency plugs, complete with attachments to accommodate various vehicle models, including a specific one for Tesla.

"These devices are just like our gear; we try to keep top-of-the-line fire gear for our firefighters to protect them. This is just another device to protect our firefighters," Starkey emphasized.

The implementation of electric vehicle disablers aims to safeguard both the community and first responders. The cost for Talbot County to acquire these tools amounted to approximately $7,000. Officials anticipate that these tools will not only benefit incidents involving electric cars but also electric buses used for public transportation.