As the usage of Electric Vehicles (EVs) grows rapidly across Europe, the accuracy of fast-charging DC stations is being called into question. A lack of suitable regulation in most European countries means that EV users cannot know for certain if they are getting the electricity they pay for and, if there is any doubt, there is no opportunity for redress.
The leading international metrology institute, NMi (Netherlands Measurement Institute), says in a press release the lack of a consistent legal framework and price conformity of EV charging stations stems from governments struggling to keep pace with the rapidly evolving EV market, driven by the global energy transition.
“There are no regulations in place to guarantee the accuracy of energy delivered by fast-charging EV stations, which means that EV users are effectively left in the dark,’’ says Lars Cornax of NMi. Cornax calls for national legislation as a first step to protect consumers using DC charging stations. He adds: “European-wide legislation would be preferable, but that could take a while. In the meantime, something must be done quickly.”
Exponential growth expected
Some European countries make do with existing legislation to protect EV consumers, but – except in Germany – nothing has been specifically designed for the EV charging market. For example, the Netherlands uses the European MID Directive, which was originally designed to standardize devices such as electricity meters. “This only works up to a point,’’ says Cornax, “and this legislation currently only applies to AC meters – not to fast-charging DC meters, which we expect to grow exponentially.”
Using a fast DC charger is convenient, but it might result in higher energy losses than charging with Alternating Current (AC). If manufacturers of EV chargers do not account for the energy losses and the measurement methodology is not properly certified, the consumer could end up paying significantly more. In the absence of specific regulations, there is no certainty that consumers will be compensated for the shortfall.
Inconsistent legislation surrounding charging facilities is illustrated by the example of the MID Directive, which typically prohibits the resetting of utility meters to zero after an energy transaction, as it is usually unnecessary. However, for EV charging, resetting to zero in between charging sessions involving different consumers is a prerequisite for charging the correct amount.
Founded in 1937, NMi is the leading independent specialist for legal metrology testing and inspection services in Europe and a trusted brand globally. NMi specializes in type approval & certification, verification & calibration, and consultancy services, covering a broad range of advice on complex regulations and accreditations. Furthermore, NMi enables its clients to continuously improve and safeguard their data and operational technologies. NMi is based in Delft, the Netherlands, is active in over 200 countries and serves over 5,000 clients worldwide. NMi employs around 150 people globally.
Also read: Fast, faster, fastest charging on the go
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