The increasing need to reduce carbon emissions and find environmentally friendly transport has led to the growing use of Electric Vehicles (EV) such as cars and bikes and a corresponding increase in the demand for new, faster Electrical Vehicle Chargers (EVCs).
In turn, the production of more capable and high-tech electrical vehicle chargers has led to the development of a complex regulatory framework that essentially needs to satisfy both commercial and Automotive EMC & safety testing and compliance requirements.
On-board charging vs off-board electric vehicle charging
Both on-board and off-board electric vehicle chargers provide the basic function of controlling the flow of electricity from the grid to the battery and like all power systems have the potential to generate electromagnetic interference and also pose a safety risk.
On-board Electric Vehicle chargers
As the term suggest an on-board charging system is typically an AC on-board charger that is installed in the vehicle. The AC charger connects to a suitable AC mains outlet via a charging cable and connector and converts this to a DC voltage to charge the vehicle batteries.
There are two levels of charging applicable to On-board chargers:
Level 1: Standard single phase AC mains outlet
Level 2: Dedicated AC charge point
(Single phase wall box type chargers now being installed in homes, apartment blocks, etc.)
An on-board charger has the convenience of being able to access single phase AC power in many locations including residential settings however fast battery charging requires higher electrical current and as such the AC mains supply in older homes (pre-1970) is not always suitable.
Level 2 dedicated AC charge points are capable of charging at a faster rate than standard domestic AC outlets however there is still an associated lower kW transfer when charging which makes the charging process slower than an off-board charger.
Typically, an EV full charge requires charging the on-board charging system overnight.
Off-board Electric Vehicle chargers
Off-board charging utilizes dedicated DC chargers (Level 3 dedicated charging stations) that supply DC power directly to the batteries. This enables faster charging (up to 2 or 3 times faster) than on-board chargers therefore greatly reducing the time of a full recharge.
Dedicated off-board charging stations are now increasingly found in car parks and road-side and commercial locations.
Electric vehicle charging plugs and sockets
Presently the primary types of plugs available to on-board and off-board chargers include:
- Type 1 SAEJ1772 (plugs and sockets commonly used in Australia, US and Japan as per standard SAE J1772)
- Type 2 Connectors (Mennekes) used in Europe as per standard IEC 62196 and Tesla EV (modified type 2 connector)
- SAE Combo socket (combo Type 2 and CHADEMO plugs)
- CHAdeMO EV Charging Plug (quick charger plug with DC current and shock protection).
Electric vehicle charging stations (EVCS) compliance standards
The European CE marking directive EN 61851-1 (IEC 65851 equivalent) is listed under the Low Voltage (LVD) Directive (2104/35/EU) which also references the EMC CE requirements for electric vehicle chargers. In Australia the ACMA EMC standards list added IEC 61851-21-2 for RCM compliance with the increasing numbers of electric vehicles and associated electric vehicle chargers. AC mains powered chargers also fall under the EESS / ERAC regulations as a level 3 risk equipment type. Standards such as AS/NZS 60335.2.29 could therefore be applied. If the electric vehicle charger has wireless capability, then either or both the RCM and R-NZ for New Zealand radio-communications, EMR and telecommunications compliance requirements would apply.
EN IEC 61851 series for EMC compliance
The IEC 61851-X is a series of EMC standards for Electric vehicle conductive charging systems.
- IEC 61851-1:2017 – Electric vehicle conductive charging system. Part 1: General requirements
- IEC 61851-21-1:2017 – Electric vehicle conductive charging system. Part 21-1 Electric vehicle on-board charger EMC requirements for conductive connection to AC/DC supply
- IEC 61851-21-2:2018 – Electric vehicle conductive charging system. Part 21-2: Electric vehicle requirements for conductive connection to an AC/DC supply. EMC requirements for off board electric vehicle charging systems
- IEC 61851-23:2014 – Electric vehicle conductive charging system. Part 23: DC electric vehicle charging station
- IEC 61851-24:2014 – Electric vehicle conductive charging system. Part 24: Digital communication between a d.c. EV charging station and an electric vehicle for control of d.c. charging
- IEC 61851-25:2020 – Electric vehicle conductive charging system. Part 25: DC EV supply equipment where protection relies on electrical separation
EMC tests required for electric vehicle charging stations (EVCS)
IEC 61851-1 references the generic emissions testing as per IEC 61000-6-3 (residential, commercial and light industrial environment emissions levels). And IEC 61000-6-1 (equivalent EMC environment immunity tests).
IEC 61851-1 also references the specific performance criteria as defined in IEC 61851-22 and IEC 61851-23.
How to get RCM and CE mark for Electric Vehicle chargers
For Australia the ACMA EMC standards lists includes both the generic emissions standard (IEC 61000-6-3) and also IEC 61851-21-2. IEC 61851-21-1 provides details on general test conditions such as nominal voltage range, EV condition during testing and the test methods. Including requirements for both immunity and emissions. It also includes additional details such as Artificial networks, impedance stabilization networks and how to integrate the charging station into the test setup. Inaddition the configuration of the charging equipment and load conditions during testing of off-board charging equipment. Other more specific details are also listed such as radiated disturbances for keyless entry, load conditions for terminals of CPT ports and other immunity testing (not required for Australia, but is required for Europe and the United Kingdom).
The future of regulating electric vehicle charging stations in Australia
Have your say and get involved if you are interested the Australian government is currently seeking feedback on policy options for regulating electric vehicle charging stations (EVCS).
EMC Technologies has four huge test locations and two Melbourne test experts experienced in Automotive and electric vehicle charger requirements. EMC Technologies is the number one test laboratory with facilities enabling full EMC vehicle testing, high power (current and voltage) capability for chargers and safety testing all under one roof. Get in touch now and find out more.