As the world shifts towards greener transportation solutions, electric vehicles (EVs) have surged in popularity. However, with the increase in EV ownership comes the need to address potential risks and vulnerabilities in their charging infrastructure. One pertinent question arises: Do electric vehicle chargers really need surge protection? The answer to this question has evolved with changing regulations and advancements in technology, making it a topic of keen interest for EV enthusiasts and homeowners alike.
Surge Protection Devices (SPDs) are specialised equipment designed to safeguard electrical appliances, including EV chargers, from power surges or transient overvoltages. A power surge occurs when there is a rapid and substantial increase in voltage that surpasses the normal 230-volt flow. While these surges are short-lived, they can cause severe damage to electronic devices and appliances. Lightning strikes, faulty wiring, and electrical overloads are common triggers for such surges.
In essence, an SPD serves as a safety net for your EV charger, redirecting excess power from a surge into the ground, thus preventing potential harm to the charger, your home, and even you. For EV chargers, an SPD is usually integrated into your home’s fuse box or consumer unit during the charger installation process. The primary purpose of installing an SPD is to mitigate the risk of electrical damage caused by power surges, which can save you from costly repairs and replacements.
The regulations governing the necessity of SPDs in EV charger installations have undergone significant changes in recent times. The 18th Edition Amendment 2 of the Wiring Regulations, effective since September 2022, mandates that all new electrical circuits, including those for EV chargers, must have SPDs fitted. Consequently, from a regulatory standpoint, it’s imperative for new EV charger installations to incorporate surge protection.
While the new regulations emphasise the importance of surge protection for EV chargers, they also acknowledge the homeowner’s choice. According to the regulations, customers can choose to opt out of installing an SPD during their EV charger installation. This grants homeowners the flexibility to make an informed decision based on their assessment of the risks and their personal preferences.
Given the ever-changing English weather and the potential for lightning strikes, the need for surge protection for EV chargers becomes apparent. The cost of repairing or replacing damaged charging equipment resulting from a power surge far outweighs the investment in an SPD. While many EV chargers installed before September 2021 might not have integrated SPDs, the prudent choice is to err on the side of caution.
For those who prioritise safety and longevity, integrating an SPD into your EV charger installation is a sensible choice. The relatively minor upfront cost of an SPD pales in comparison to the potential expenses associated with electrical damage. Moreover, some EV charger manufacturers and installation companies may uphold warranties even without SPDs, but it’s essential to remember that any damage caused by power surges might not be covered.
Just as only professionals should undertake EV charger installations due to the risks associated with electricity, installing SPDs should be left to qualified and experienced electrical professionals. Proper installation ensures that your EV charger and surge protection work seamlessly together to provide comprehensive protection against power surges.
In the realm of electric vehicle chargers, the debate about the necessity of surge protection rages on. With the ever-evolving regulatory landscape and advancements in technology, the choice to integrate an SPD into your EV charger installation rests with you. However, considering the potential risks, the benefits of safeguarding your investment and your home far outweigh the initial cost. In a world where being prepared is synonymous with being prudent, opting for surge protection for your EV charger offers peace of mind and security for both you and your beloved electric vehicle.Back to Blog