The evSAT sensor triggers an emergency battery shutdown when the vehicle is in charge mode

Continental has developed a system that will shut off a high-voltage electric-vehicle battery in the event of an accident.

The German supplier said its evSAT sensor will shut off batteries in a collision when the electric vehicle is in charge mode. That will let emergency service personnel recover cars without the risk of suffering an electric shock.

"The evSAT acceleration sensor is active in charge mode; it detects an accident and passes this information on to the battery management system which then shuts off the high-voltage battery", said Axel Gesell, senior manager platform development sensors & satellites at Continental.

Electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids are powered by high-voltage batteries of up to 400 volts. These provide major risks to service personnel.

evSAT , which stands for “satellite for electric vehicles” will go into series production with a major German vehicle manufacturer in 2012, Continental said.