Important Safety Considerations for Electric Vehicles – Driving the Future

Published on: 18 October 2023
Electric Vehicles

Unbeknownst to most, the first electric vehicles actually pre dated petrol powered internal combustion cars by four decades, with the first having been created in 1840. Since then, electricity has remained the solution for a variety of transport options, and now electric vehicles are accelerating through the market. By 2015, the number of electric vehicles on the road increased to approximately 1.25 million, with 2020 seeing this number grow to an estimated 10 million. It won’t be long before electric vehicles overtake petrol powered vehicles on the road.

With the increased production of such vehicles comes the important consideration of product safety and regulation. Electric vehicles have a number of regulatory components that need to be taken into consideration when designing and manufacturing such a product. Electric vehicle testing is very complex due to the nature of such technology. Not only does the vehicle itself need to adhere to regulations, but so do the charging stations (based on either AC or DC technology), the associated systems that enable electric vehicles and the back-office systems that communicate with one another. Additionally, regulations surrounding battery packs and battery cells also need to be adhered to. Finally, any plugs, cables, connectors, wiring and switches also need to adhere to the correct standards and regulations.

Below is a list of the regulations in Europe and the US that each part of an electric vehicle would need to adhere to.

Charging systems (electric vehicle and fuel-cell vehicle charging facilities):

  • EN/IEC 61851-1/-21/-22/-23/-24
  • EN/IEC 62752
  • UL 2202
  • SPE 1000*
  • NFPA 70*
  • UL 2231-1/2
  • UL 2594
  • C22.2 No.107*

Non-contact charging systems (non-contact charging systems field labelling and technical consultation):

  • IEC 61890-1/-2/-3
  • UL 2202
  • UL 2231-1/-2
  • UL 2750
  • SAE J 2954
  • NFPA 70*
  • SPE 1000*
  • C22.2 No.107*

Electric vehicle connectors and cables:

  • EN/IEC 62196-1/-2/-3
  • UL 2251
  • EN 50525
  • IEC 60227
  • prEN50620
  • VDE-AR-E2283-5
  • UL 2734

Other electric vehicle testing and certification:

  • Wide range of electricity-powered vehicles and peripheral equipment, including construction machinery

CHAdeMO (fast charging systems)

  • Fast charging units operated on the CHAdeMO protocol. This includes certification according to the EN/IEC 61851-23 safety standard, which has been standardised in the EU and internationally.

Charging safety:

  • Electric vehicle charging safety relies on the quality of the electric vehicle charger and the quality of the electric vehicle charger installation.

V2X testing and certification:

  • V2H (vehicle to home) – electric supply from electric vehicle
  • V2L (vehicle to load) – electric supply from electric vehicle fuel cell vehicle to load direct
  • V2G (vehicle to grid) – electric supply from electric vehicle or fuel cell vehicle to electric power transmission system

Standard of conformity:

  • EN/IEC 61851-1
  • UL 458A, IEEE

Vehicle and parts homologation:

UNECE regulations

  • R10 (EMC)
  • R12 (steering mechanism – electric safety after crush)
  • R85 (electric drive trains)
  • R94 (frontal collision)
  • R95 (side collision)
  • R100 (electric safety, battery passenger car)
  • R101 (electric energy consumption and electric range)

All powered vehicles that run on public roads in the EU, including all vehicle components and motorcycles are required to acquire E/e-Mark certification to ensure traffic safety in addition to regular CE marking that is required for any electronic product entering the European marketplace.

Energy storage systems (batteries and capacitors)

  • UNECE R100
  • IEC 62660-1 & 2
  • Freedom CAR
  • SAE J 2464
  • UL 2580
  • CAN/ULC S-2580
  • UNECE R136
  • ISO 12405
  • DIN V VDE V510-11
  • GB/T 31485
  • UN Manual of Tests and Criteria, Part III, subsection 38.3

*US/Canadian field labels

(TUV, 2019)

It is clear that many considerations need to be made when producing an electric vehicle, however with the correct measures and technical body who is authorised to guide you through the process, it is possible to successfully manufacture and certify an electric vehicle. For more information on electric vehicles and their components, contact us today.

About the author
Rebecca Brust

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