Bureau Veritas presses industry to closely examine 18th Edition amendment 

Typography
News

With the IET releasing its first 18th Edition amendment this month, Bureau Veritas is urging the industry to examine the changes in detail, especially in light of the UK’s recent pledge to phase out petrol and diesel vehicles by 2035.

Earlier this month, the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) published Amendment 1 to BS 7671:2018, setting out changes designed to make the installation of electrical vehicles (EV) charging points quicker and easier, and cheaper for both installers and consumers.  

The amendment includes changes on supplying EV charging points outside on PME (Protective Multiple Earthing arrangements). The changes are in response to emerging EV charging technologies that monitor fluctuations in voltage and automatically disconnects the supply if it goes outside of 207-253 volts to Earth – essentially providing protection against the risks posed by a broken PEN conductor. 

It comes as the UK confirmed recently it would be bringing forward its ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars by five years to 2035. The move will require tens and thousands of new charging points to be installed across the UK, as the government seeks to encourage more people to buy EVs.

Michael Kenyon, technical manager at electrical safety expert Bureau Veritas, said, “The UK’s announcement to bring forward its ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars to 2035 reflects the government’s ambitions to reach its net zero emissions target by 2050.

“To achieve this will require a societal shift to using electric vehicles – supported by world-class charging infrastructure, which given the accelerating ban, will need to be deployed quicker than expected, but also cost-effectively. Understandably, as technology in this area is moving at such a fast pace, the IET has done a good job of getting on the front foot to ensure the wiring regulations adequately reflect these advancements. 

“The IET has also sought to future-proof these guidelines. For instance, regulation 722.411.4.1(v) is written to allow other technologies to be compliant by using the phrase ‘alternative devices’, which will avoid the need to reissue another amendment EV charging technology continues to evolve.

“However, there are also some points that require careful consideration. A good example of this is regulation 722.411.4.1 Note 6 – states that creating a TT system ‘may’ not be a suitable solution, which conflicts with the previous regulations. This may become an issue when assessing compliance as in some instances, creating a TT system was the recommended guidance at the time.

“Hence, for many, this amendment, while welcome, may be hard to decipher at first glance. We’d certainly advise those that haven’t done so already to examine the amendment in greater detail and truly understand how the changes will work in practice.”

According to Bureau Veritas, it’s also worth noting that unlike previous amendments, and given the special nature of this update, current 18th Edition certificates from institutions such as the City and Guilds are still valid. This means electrical contractors will not be required to re-sit their courses in order to be able to carry out work in-line with the new amendment.