The Institution of Engineering and Technology announced at the Electric Vehicles Seminar in London yesterday that its standards for UK EV charging points will be released at the end of July.
The original 1992 British standard wiring regulations was written by the IET and it oversees all amendments made to this document. However, there is currently no detailed specification for the installation of potentially dangerous, high voltage charging points for electric vehicles and the next scheduled amendment is not due until 2013.
With a surge in demand for electric and hybrid vehicles expected in 2012, the standardisation of charging point installation both in residential and public locations is urgently needed to ensure they are installed safely and correctly.
Carolyn White, Head of Business Development in Standards and Compliance at the IET, led the presentation at the Electric Vehicles Seminar in London. “We need to ensure kit goes into the ground safely to avoid a horrible accident that would set back consumer confidence.” She says. “International standards have not yet been developed but we still have potentially dangerous kit going into the ground. Although the wiring regulations are a British standard there is currently nothing specific on Electric Vehicles.”
The Code of Practice for Electric Vehicle Charging Equipment Installation will include safe installation guidelines for charging points in all locations including offices, factories, car parks and vehicle owner’s homes. “We are creating the IET’s Code of Practice for Electric Vehicle Charging Equipment to try and cover every conceivable location where people will be putting the equipment in.” White continues.
The Code of Practice will also consider factors influenced by the type of vehicle, from motor bikes and cars to buses and lorries. The document is aimed predominantly at professionally trained electricians and electrical engineers rather than members of the public, though the IET recognises other parties such as planning and transport managers and car hire firms will be interested in its release.
The IET has formed this Code of Practice with the input of the IET Committee Members of which includes transport boards, charge-point manufacturers and energy providers. “The dialogue has been very productive and very good natured,” says White.
Although the Code of Practice will recognise variations in the connection points it will maintain an agnostic approach to the equipment and will not be recommending specific types of charger.