Electrostatic discharge issues in electric vehicles

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Electrostatic discharge (ESD) is an important issue in any motor vehicle. Anecdotal reports abound of cars with spark ignition hazards because of fuel tank designs, and even toll collectors reluctant to collect money by hand from certain late-model cars. As electric vehicles move from the laboratory and test track to the production floor and showroom, ESD concerns take on a new context and become more critical. In this paper, the attributes of electric vehicles that give rise to concerns about ESD are introduced. When the concerns are taken into account, certain basic design constraints become evident. A candidate design is analyzed for its ESD properties. Some common design practices, especially the practice of isolating the battery bus, can create reliability problems because of ESD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1278-1284
Number of pages7
JournalIEEE Transactions on Industry Applications
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1996


  • Battery systems
  • Electric vehicles
  • Electrostatic discharge
  • Grounding practice, isolation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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