A Seller’s Inside Look: Understanding Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) in the United States (Part 1)

27 October 2011

Electric vehicles are increasingly growing in popularity, in time likely to change the landscape of the automotive industry. More specifically, this increase is changing the way vehicles are sold and used in the United States. But how?

Unlike combustion engines, pure Electric Vehicles will commonly be “filled up” both at home and on the road. And instead of the common gas pump, “fill ups” will come from devices known as Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) or Charging Stations. Charge Stations require compliance to a series of tests to make it to market and meet local code requirements. Therefore in order for electric vehicle supply equipment to be sold, these products must comply with electrical, fire and casualty safety requirements.

In the US, OSHA Safety Regulations require testing and certification of certain products by a Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratories (NRTL’s). These safety requirements help protect workers by ensuring products are designed for safe use in the workplace. An NRTL generally certifies products for a manufacturer. Additionally, an NRTL is an independent organization that OSHA has "recognized" as meeting the legal requirements in 29 CFR 1910.7.

A NRTL tests and certifies electric products covered in the US Code of Federal Register - Subpart S - Electrical, of 29 CFR Part 1910. In this section, there are examples of equipment requiring certification for safety.

What process does OSHA follow when recognizing an NRTL? What product safety test standards can an NRTL use in certifying products? How will a manufacturer or seller determine whether an NRTL has certified a product? And how does all this apply to Electric Vehicles and Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment? These questions will be answered in the next blog.

To speak with an Intertek expert on this subject matter, e-mail us at EVNews@intertek.com.