EVSE Testing and Global Certifications

What Manufacturers Need to Know

02 October 2020

As battery and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles increase in popularity, manufacturers need to consider the regulatory requirements and certifications not only for the car, but also the supply equipment (EVSE) that provides the needed electricity: the charge stations, chargers, and wireless systems. To launch safe, well performing products into a global marketplace, it's important to understand the standards that govern EVSE and the certification options.  These safety standards support compliance to relevant codes and regulations, such as the US Electrical Code (NFPA 70, Article 625), the Canadian Electrical Code (CSA C22.1, Article 86) and the Low Voltage Directive in Europe.

EVSE Types and Related Standards

There are several standards that apply to each type of EVSE product. For charge stations, which provide an AC power transfer to an onboard charger, the following apply:

  • UL 2594, 2nd edition 2016, CSA 22.2 #280-13 and NMX-J-677-ANCE-2013: Safety Standards for Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment
  • NFPA 70: The US National Electric Code, article 625
  • IEC 61851-1, 3rd edition 2017: Electric vehicle conductive charging system – Part 1: General requirements
  • IEC 62752, 1.1 edition 2018: In-Cable Control and Protection Device for mode 2 charging of electric road vehicles (IC-CPD)

For chargers, which bring offboard DC power directly to the onboard battery, these standards should be used:

  • UL 2202, 2nd edition 2009: For (EV) charging system equipment
  • CSA 22.2 #107.1-16, 2016 Clause 16: For power conversion equipment
  • IEC 61851-1, 3rd edition 2017: Electric vehicle conductive charging system – Part 1: General requirements
  • IEC 61851-23, 1st edition 2014: Electric vehicle conductive charging system – Part 23: DC electric vehicle charging station

For wireless systems which convert offboard AC power to on-board AC/DC charger, manufacturers must consider the following:

  • UL OOI 2750 (Outline of Investigation), 1st edition 2020: Wireless Power Transfer Equipment for Electric Vehicles
  • CSA 22.2, #61980-1:16, 2016IEC 61980-1, 1st edition 2013: Electric vehicle wireless power transfer systems (WPT) - Part 1: General requirements

Finally, there are some common components that have standards in place. Personnel protection systems must adhere to standards covering general requirements for circuits and particular requirements for protection devices for use in charging systems and differ for the various charger types and regional grid configurations. Vehicle couplers must adhere to standards covering safety for plugs, receptacles, and couplers for EVs, and to various editions of IEC 62196 for plugs, socket-outlets, vehicle connectors and vehicle inlets.

Certification Schemes

In the U.S., EVSE can be certified under the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory (NRTL) program, where independent bodies recognized for their competency in electrical evaluations are approved to test and certify that products meet applicable standards. In Canada, the Standards Council Canada operates a program like the NRTL program, accrediting certification and inspection organizations. Each lab uses its own unique, registered certification mark(s) to designate conformance, such as the Intertek ETL mark.

Once approved, manufacturers place this mark on products to illustrate their product's compliance to the applicable standards. Products are also listed in the NRTL's directory of certified products. An on-going follow-up program ensures products continuously comply with the applicable standards. If a product is found in the field without proper certification, NRTLs can perform a field inspection and issue the mark onsite. This process is called field labelling in the United States and a special inspection in Canada.

In Europe, the CE mark is a generic mark used to indicate that a manufacturer has self-declared the product meets European Union (EU) directive requirements. A CE mark is unrelated to North American requirements as it is based on compliance with EU directives and EN-based product standards, including safety and electromagnetic compatibility (EMC).

The CB Scheme is an international program (under IECEE) for the exchange and acceptance of product safety test results among participating laboratories and certification organizations around the world. It offers manufacturers a simplified way of obtaining multiple national safety certifications for their products — providing entry into more than 45 countries. For EVSE, the "ELVH" category covers applicable IEC standards. Under the CB Scheme, each member country has one or more National Certification Body (NCB), which oversees one or more Certification Body Testing Laboratories (CBTL). Each NCB and CBTL is accredited/ approved by the IECEE to issue test reports and certificates.

National requirements are constantly evolving as EV's proliferate the global market. As such, it is important to consider which countries/markets you are entering, the requirements for that market, available certification agencies and updates to local regulations, and adoption dates for new requirements. Given this, upfront and ongoing regulatory research and communication are key to successful vehicle and charting system global launch.

 

 

Rich Byczek,
Global Technical Director of Transportation Technologies

 

Rich Byczek is the global technical lead for electric vehicle and energy storage at Intertek. He has more than 20 years of experience in product development and validation testing and is an expert in the areas of energy storage, audio equipment and EMC. Rich sits on several SAE, IEC, UL and ANSI standards panels.