EV international safety standards

17 April, 2023

While selecting an Electric Vehicle charger, what features do you look for? Electricity is part of everyday life and can be hazardous if not handled cautiously.

Aesthetics, charging speed, price?

While all these are important, the most crucial parameter should be electrical safety. EV chargers are electrical devices that carry high currents. If appropriate safety standards are not followed, it can cause harm to the customer and property.

Some essential safety parameters to consider while selecting an EV charger are mentioned below:

Safety Parameters


Overcurrent Protection: Ensure the charger has overcurrent protection to prevent electrical currents from exceeding safe levels. The protection can help prevent overheating and other potential hazards.

Prevents damage to the components and wiring, as well as potential hazards or fires.

Without protection, components can quickly become overloaded and can even burn out. This can result in a short circuit, which can cause a fire, smoke, or even an explosion. Additionally, there is a risk of damage to the car’s battery and other components, and a loss of power.

Overvoltage Protection: The charger should have overvoltage protection to prevent the voltage from exceeding safe levels.

The batteries can be damaged or destroyed.

Costly repairs and replacement parts, as well as a decreased vehicle lifespan.

There is also the potential for an electric shock.

Earth Leakage Protection: Charger should protect against electric shocks by automatically cutting off power if there is a ground fault.

Without this protection, a user could be exposed to an electric shock if a fault current is present.

Electric shocks can cause serious harm, including burns, heart problems, and even death.

Without protection, the charger can be damaged if a fault or overload occurs, resulting in costly repairs or replacement.

Temperature Monitoring: The charger should have a temperature sensor that can monitor the temperature of the charging system and cut off the power supply if the temperature gets too high.

Failing to install temperature monitoring can lead to EV chargers malfunctioning, resulting in downtime and potential damage to the EV charger.

The absence of temperature monitoring makes it more challenging to identify the root cause of any issue with the EV charger, causing difficulties in troubleshooting and repairing any problems.

Without temperature monitoring, it is difficult to ensure that the EV charger is charging the EV battery at an optimal temperature. Overheating of the EV battery can cause permanent damage to the battery and reduce its lifespan, potentially resulting in costly battery replacements.

Lack of temperature monitoring means there is no way to ensure that the EV charger is properly ventilated. Without proper ventilation, the EV charger can overheat and become a potential fire hazard. This could lead to property damage, injury, or even death.

Electric Arcs Protections: Look for a charger that has protection against electric arcs, which can help prevent fires caused by electrical faults.

If proper protection against electrical arcs is not taken, the consequences can be severe. Not only can it lead to a fire, but an electrical arc can also cause serious injury or even death.

Without electrical arcs protection, damage to the charger and the EV can occur.

Surge Protection: The charger should have surge protection to prevent damage from voltage spikes and lightning strikes.

Without surge protection in an EV charger, there is a risk of damage to the charger. An EV charger can be expensive to replace, and it can be challenging to get a replacement if yours has been damaged due to a lack of surge protection.

The absence of surge protection can cause the circuit breaker in your EV charger to trip, interrupting power to the charger.

A lack of surge protection can also lead to a decrease in the lifespan of your EV charger.

Without surge protection, your EV charger may be exposed to voltage spikes, which can damage the internal components of the charger and lead to a decrease in its performance over time.

Not having surge protection can also lead to a decrease in the safety of your EV charger.

Look for a charger that has been certified by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), ADQCC etc. IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission) is a global organization that sets standards for electrical and electronic devices. This can give you added assurance that the charger has undergone rigorous safety testing.

Here are some IEC standards that apply to the electrical safety of EV chargers:


IEC 61851-1

This standard covers the general requirements for charging of electric vehicles, including safety considerations.

IEC 61851-22

This standard specifically covers AC charging for electric vehicles and includes requirements for safety and compatibility with different vehicle types.

IEC 61851-23

This standard covers DC charging for electric vehicles and includes requirements for safety, compatibility, and communication between the charger and the vehicle.

IEC 60364-7-722

This standard provides guidelines for the design and installation of electrical installations for electric vehicles and includes safety requirements.

IEC 62196-1

This standard covers the safety and performance requirements for charging cables for electric vehicles.

If a customer chooses an EV charger that does not comply with international safety standards, they may face several potential problems, including:

Electric Shock: If an EV charger is not designed and installed correctly, it may present a risk of electric shock to users. This can occur if the charger is not properly grounded, or if there is a fault in the electrical system.

Overheating: If an EV charger is not designed to handle the electrical load of a particular vehicle or charging situation, it may overheat, potentially causing damage to the charger or the vehicle.

Fire or Explosion: If an EV charger is not designed to handle high voltages and currents, it may pose a risk of fire or explosion. This can occur if there is a fault in the electrical system or if the charger is not properly ventilated.

Compatibility Issues: If an EV charger is not designed to be compatible with a particular vehicle, it may not be able to provide the correct charging rate or may not work at all. This can result in frustration for the customer and may limit the use of their electric vehicle.

Lack of Warranty: If an EV charger is not designed and manufactured to meet safety standards, it may not be covered by a warranty. This can leave the customer responsible for any damages or malfunctions that occur because of the charger's design or installation.

By choosing an EV charger that complies with international safety standards, customers can help ensure that their charging system is safe, reliable, and compatible with their electric vehicles.

There are several case studies related to the problems customers may face by not choosing an EV charger that complies with international safety standards. A few examples are mentioned below:

In 2020, the Norwegian Institute of Transport Economics conducted a study on the safety of EV charging stations in Norway. The study found that many non-compliant chargers were installed without proper grounding or protection against electric shock, posing a risk to users. The study recommended that the government take measures to enforce safety standards and ensure that all charging stations are properly installed and maintained.

In 2021, the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) issued a recall for certain non-compliant EV chargers due to a risk of fire or explosion. The recall was based on testing conducted by the NHTSA, which found that the chargers did not meet safety standards and could pose a danger to users.

In 2019, the UK's Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) conducted a study on the safety of EV charging infrastructure in the UK. The study found that many charging stations did not have the required safety features, such as overcurrent protection, and recommended that safety standards be enforced more rigorously.

In 2020, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy conducted a study on the safety and performance of EV chargers in Germany. The study found that several non-compliant chargers did not provide the correct charging rate for the vehicles they were intended for, leading to decreased range and slower charging times. The study recommended that EV charger standards be updated to reflect the latest technological developments.

These studies demonstrate the importance of safety and compliance in the design, installation, and operation of EV chargers. By adhering to safety standards and regulations, EV charger manufacturers and operators can help ensure the safety and reliability of EV charging infrastructure for users.