As the IET plans an upcoming 18th Edition amendment on electric vehicle charging, Bureau Veritas has welcomed the news, adding the imminent changes will be critical to ensuring the faster roll-out of the UK’s charging network for cleaner vehicles.
Earlier this month, the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) announced it will publish a stand-alone update to Section 722 of the 18th Edition on electric vehicle charging installations in early 2020, as part of a new amendment to BS 7671:2018. The amendment, which will be implemented immediately and free to view on the IET website, follows advances in technology. It is expected to make installing charging points quicker and easier, and cheaper for both installers and consumers.
Welcoming the amendment as a ‘positive step forward’ for the industry, Michael Kenyon, Technical Manager at electrical safety expert Bureau Veritas, believes the update will be vital in helping the UK create one of the largest electric vehicle charging networks in Europe – as latest figures show sales of electric cars rose to their highest level last month.
Michael comments: “As part of its Road to Zero strategy, the government has ambitious targets in place for half of all new cars sold to be ‘ultra-low emission’ by 2030 – and to realistically achieve this requires a world-class charging infrastructure for electric vehicles, which needs to be deployed quickly and cost-effectively.
“Despite being a fledgling industry, the technology in this area has come on leaps and bounds in just a few short years and it’s great to see the IET getting ahead of the curve by ensuring the wiring regulations adequately reflect this.”
According to Bureau Veritas, the amendment is unlikely to feature any wide sweeping reforms, but instead focus on changes in line with EU regulations as well as evolving practice on the PME supply issues and residual current devices (RCDs).
Michael adds: “It’s probable the upcoming amendment will set out new rules on emerging integrated EV charging devices that satisfy the restrictions around PME earthing by disconnecting the supply including the protective conductor upon detecting an open circuit in the neutral (PEN conductor) for single phase supplies.
“It will also look to keep up to speed with European regulations, taking into account harmonised standards in the CENELEC Harmonised Document (HD), as well as providing further changes to the earthing requirements for EV charging points. It may also provide additional guidance on how RCDs are used in EV chargers.
“The good news is that the amendment will be free to download – a move that will no doubt be welcomed by electrical contractors and the industry as it will allow for a swift and low cost implementation. 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 new charging installations by an independent appraiser is a good way to ensure they comply with all the relevant standards.”
The Draft for Public Comment for Amendment 1 will be available from October 2019, while in February 2020 the IET will publish the 4th Edition of the Code of Practice for Electric Vehicle Charging Equipment Installation.
Bureau Veritas offers a range of testing and certification services to support customers in managing compliance around electrical safety for new and existing installations or for specific areas, such as electric vehicle charging points.