EV charging: ‘Quality must come first,’ says Bureau Veritas

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In response to the government’s recent pledge to invest more cash into electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure, Bureau Veritas has stated that 'quality must come first' if the UK is to create a world-class charging network for cleaner vehicles.

The Department for Transport (DfT) has announced it is putting nearly £40m into improving the infrastructure for electric vehicles, with investments in wireless charging and pop-up pavement technology1. All new homes built in Britain are also set to be fitted with charging points for electric cars2.

At present, the UK has more than 24,000 public charging connectors in nearly 9,000 locations. However, with EV car registrations up 62% to 2,461 in June compared with the same month last year3, the number of charging points being installed is expected to rise dramatically in the coming years.

Welcoming the government’s additional funding, electrical safety expert Bureau Veritas has revealed that the speedy creation of charging infrastructure should focus on quality and safety.

Michael Kenyon, technical manager at Bureau Veritas, said: “This funding offers a great opportunity to a number of industries, including automotive, engineering and electrical contractors, currently involved in delivering the government’s Road to Zero strategy, which wants 'almost every car and van' in the UK to be zero emission by 20504

“However, in the race to deliver the adequate charging infrastructure required to achieve this, quality in terms of engineering, safety and compliant installations must come first. Especially if the UK is to create a world-class charging network for cleaner vehicles – one that is not only cost-effective but will also last the test of time.”

Bureau Veritas is also encouraging installers of charging points to ensure they hold the latest accreditations and are up to speed with recent rule changes on residual current devices (RCDs) and earthing arrangements. The firm points to new guidance on the installation of EV charging points offered in Section 722 of the 18th Edition of the IET Wiring Regulations. This has recently lead to the Code of Practice for Electric Vehicle Charging Equipment Installations moving on to its 3rd Edition.

Kenyon added, “As all new installations will need to be compliant, businesses such as service stations, shopping centres and hotels will require installers of EV charging points to be accredited by the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV). What’s more, installers and inspectors of charging infrastructure will need to have a clear and detailed understanding of the different types and classifications of RCDs and how to test them.

“We understand that for many, this will be a new area, often fraught with complexity. That’s why putting a robust strategy in place for the initial inspection and maintenance of these charging installations by an independent appraiser is the best way to ensure they comply with all the relevant standards.”