The boom in electric vehicles has led to a growing demand for safe, reliable charging cables. As a result, a number of specific safety standards have been introduced to ensure the safe use of electric car charging cables. These standards set out the general safety requirements and test methods for electric vehicle charging systems. But what are these standards and why are they important?
The IEC 61851 standard
Current safety standards for electric car charging cables are based primarily on the international standard IEC 61851. Developed by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), this standard provides clear guidelines for the design and manufacture of charging cables. These guidelines cover the resistance of charging cables to electric shock, protection against overcurrent and overvoltage, and resistance to atmospheric conditions.
Protection against electric shock
It is crucial to choose charging cables that are designed to provide adequate insulation to protect users from electric shocks. Electrical shock resistance tests should be carried out to ensure that the cables meet these requirements.
Resistance to overcurrents and overvoltage
You should also check the resistance of the charging cables to overcurrents and surges that could occur when charging your electric vehicle. Make sure that the cables are fitted with protective devices, such as fuses or circuit breakers, to prevent the risks associated with these phenomena.
Resistance to environmental conditions
Charging cables designed to withstand a variety of environmental conditions, including extreme temperatures, humidity and dust, are preferable. To ensure that cables are suitable for safe use in different environments, they should be tested for resistance to environmental conditions.
SAE J1772 and CHAdeMO standards
Apart from IEC 61851, there are additional safety standards, namely SAE J1772 and CHAdeMO, which supplement the basic requirements. Widely used in North America, SAE J1772 specifies the physical and electrical characteristics of electric vehicle charging connectors. The CHAdeMO standard is commonly used in Japan and defines the specifications for fast charging cables.
The various compliance certifications
The compliance of charging cables with safety standards is generally verified by the CE (Conformité Européenne) certification used in Europe and the UL (Underwriters Laboratories) certification used in North America. These certifications, issued by recognised organisations, guarantee that the charging cables comply with the applicable safety standards. However, other standards through certifications granted by recognised organisations also apply depending on the region or type of recharging.
Regulatory bodies such as the Agence nationale de sécurité des infrastructures de recharge (ANSIR) also play a key role in establishing regulations and safety guidelines for electric vehicle charging cables. Certification by recognised bodies and regulatory oversight help to enhance the safety of charging cables. Compliance with these standards means that electric vehicles can be charged with complete confidence and safety.