Transportation of small vehicles powered by lithium batteries
Classification of small vehicles that are powered by lithium-ion batteries when carried as cargo.
Small vehicles with a lithium battery it, air wheel, mono wheel, gyro scooter, electric scooter, e-bike and diving power units must be classified by UN 3171as a battery-powered vehicle, or UN 3481, Lithium-ion batteries contained in equipment with hazard class 9.
In special provision A214, which is enshrined in rule UN 3171 "Battery powered vehicle" defines the concept associated with the classification of "vehicles" powered by internal combustion engines, fuel cells and batteries, and "equipment" powered by lithium batteries.
The current wording of special provision A214 in the 62nd edition of the DGP is as follows:
A214 (388) UN 3166 apply to vehicles powered by internal combustion engines using flammable liquids or flammable gases or fuel cells.
Vehicles powered by a fuel cell engine should be classified under the regulation UN 3166 "Vehicle, fuel cell, combustible gas matched to combustible gas" or UN 3166 "Vehicle, fuel cell, flammable liquid", as appropriate. These records include hybrid electric vehicles powered by both fuel cells and internal combustion engines with liquid batteries, sodium batteries, lithium metal batteries, or lithium-ion batteries carried with the battery (s) installed.
Other vehicles on which an internal combustion engine is installed should be classified under items UN 3166 "Vehicle fueled by flammable gas", or UN 3166 "Vehicle running on flammable liquid", as appropriate. These records include hybrid electric vehicles powered by both an internal combustion engine and liquid batteries, sodium batteries, lithium metal batteries, or lithium-ion batteries carried with the battery (s) installed.
If the vehicle is powered by an internal combustion engine powered by a flammable liquid and a flammable gas, it must be classified under the regulation UN 3166 "Vehicle fueled by flammable gas".
UN 3171 applies only to vehicles powered by liquid batteries, sodium batteries, lithium metal batteries, or lithium ion batteries, and equipment powered by wet batteries or sodium batteries transported with these batteries installed.
For the purposes of this document, vehicles are self-propelled vehicles designed to carry one or more persons or goods.
Examples of such vehicles are cars, motorcycles, scooters, three- and four-wheeled vehicles or motorcycles, trucks, locomotives, bicycles (powered pedal bicycles) and other vehicles of this type (for example, self-balancing vehicles or vehicles not equipped at least one seating position), wheelchairs, lawn tractors, self-propelled agricultural and construction equipment, boats and aircraft.
This includes vehicles transported in packaging in which case some parts of the vehicle can be separated from it to be incorporated into the container.
Examples of equipment are lawn mowers, sweepers, or model boats and model airplanes.
Equipment powered by lithium metal batteries or lithium-ion batteries must be recorded
UN 3091 lithium metal batteries contained in equipment, or UN 3091 lithium metal batteries packed with equipment, either;
UN 3481 lithium-ion batteries contained in equipment or UN 3481 lithium-ion batteries packed with equipment as needed.
Lithium ion batteries or lithium metal batteries installed in a cargo transport unit designed only to provide power to an external cargo transport unit should be attributed to the regulation UN 3536, lithium batteries installed in the cargo transport unit.
Since these small vehicles powered by lithium batteries meet the definition of “vehicles” in Special Provision A214, and since they are powered by a lithium-ion battery, the correct classification for these small vehicles is UN 3171, battery powered car. Therefore, they must be packed in accordance with packing instruction 952.
There are several important points regarding the use of UN 3171 for these small vehicles:
lithium cells and accumulators must be of the type that have successfully passed the applicable tests in sub-section 38.3 of the UN Manual of Tests and Criteria and have a validated UN 38.3 Test Summary Report - a document with summary data that confirms that the batteries have been tested for compliance with the safety requirements of UN 38.3;
appointment in UN 3171 does not contain any exceptions to the full application of the Rules, i.e. there are no exemptions for vehicles containing lithium-ion batteries with less than 100W;
the weight net required in the Shipper's Declaration for UN 3171is equal to the net weight of the entire vehicle. There is no weight limit for the lithium ion battery in a vehicle or package, and there is no difference in net quantity only between a passenger plane and a cargo plane;
if the lithium battery is removed from the vehicle and packed separately from the vehicle in the same outer packaging, then according to Packing Instruction 952 the classification becomes UN 3481, lithium-ion batteries are used, packed with equipment and Packing Instruction 966, or UN 3091, lithium metal batteries are used, packed with equipment and Packing Instruction 969.
When preparing for the carriage of these goods, it is recommended to immediately contact the shippers of these goods to ensure that the shippers are aware of the classification requirement under the number UN 3171 and have all the necessary documents.
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