Are EV Chargers Universal?

Posted on 24 August 2023 by The Solar Co

Are EV Chargers Universal?

The electric vehicles (EV) revolution is well underway, with an increasing number of people adopting eco-friendly transportation solutions. As EV ownership grows, so does the need for proper charging infrastructure. One crucial aspect of EV charging that has gained attention recently is surge protection. In this blood, we’ll delve into the topic of whether EV chargers are universal and why surge protection matters in the context of EV charge. 

Understanding Surge Protection for EV Chargers

Surge Protection Devices (SPDs) play a pivotal role in safeguarding electrical devices and appliances, including EV chargers, from power surges or transient overvoltage that can potentially damage or destroy sensitive electronic equipment. Lightning strikes, faulty wiring, and electrical overloads are among the common triggers of power surges. 

An SPD works by diverting excess power from a power surge into the ground, preventing it from reaching connected devices. For EV chargers, an SPD is typically integrated into the home’s fuse box or consumer unit during installation. This extra layer of protection ensures that your EV charger, home, and personal safety remain intact in the face of unforeseen power surges.

Regulatory Landscape and Surge Protection 

The regulatory landscape surrounding EV charging and surge protection has evolved. The 18th Edition Amendment 2 of the Wiring Regulations, effective from September 27th, 2022, mandates the installation of Surge Protection Devices for all new electrical circuits. This includes EV charger installations since they involve setting up new circuits. 

The amendment outlines that customers technically require surge protection for their EV chargers to comply with regulations. However, an interesting provision is that customers can choose to opt out of installing an SPD at the time of their EV charger installation. This decision ultimately rests with the customer, considering factors like risk tolerance and local conditions. 

Factors Influencing the Decision 

While the regulations provide an option to opt out of surge protection, it’s crucial to evaluate the potential risks and benefits. Electric vehicle chargers are often installed outdoors, exposing them to environmental factors like lightning strikes. Given the unpredictable nature of weather, the likelihood of power surges damaging charging equipment increases. 

The cost of repairing or replacing damaged charging equipment due to a surge could be significantly higher than the investment in an SPD. Moreover, in rare instances, electrical surges might lead to injury. Considering these factors, it’s prudent to seriously consider surge protection for your EV charger. 

Installing Surge Protection Devices

Just as EV charger installations require expertise, installing Surge Protection Devices demands the skills of qualified and experienced electrical professionals. Handling electricity without the proper knowledge can be hazardous, and improper installation of an SPD might negate its protective benefits. 


Are EV chargers universal? The answer is both yes and no. While EV chargers themselves are designed to work across a range of electrical vehicles, surge protection introduces a variable that demands attention. Surge Protection Devices offer an essential layer of defence against power surges that could potentially damage your EV charger, your home, and even pose risks to safety. 

In the ever-changing landscape of EV technology and infrastructure, it’s wise to prioritise safety and protection. By investing in a Surge Protection Device for your EV charger, you’re not only complying with regulations but also ensuring the longevity of your equipment and the security investment. As EV market continues to grow, much like the solar panel installation market, making informed decisions about surge protection will contribute to a seamless and secure charging experience.

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