Electrical Safety Testing
Just like other electrical equipment, Electric Vehicles and their charging cables should be examined and tested regularly to ensure that they are in a safe condition. So-called Portable Appliance Testing (PAT) is often required for insurance reasons and many commercial and industrial sites require evidence of this testing before equipment can be plugged in. Office and factory workers will be familiar with the little green stickers attached to equipment showing that they have passed these kinds of tests.
EVs should be tested at least every 12 months or more frequently when used intensively or in arduous conditions and ALWAYS after any electrical repair or major body repair. Regular testing can also reveal any required preventative maintenance before it becomes a problem - which could otherwise lead to 'nuisance tripping' of protective RCDs.
In the UK, the normal, annual 'MOT' roadworthiness inspection for vehicles over 3 years old also applies to most EVs but does not, as yet, include any electrical tests. We always perform a PAT test when conducting an MOT but the safety test must also be carried out regularly on newer vehicles, before they require an MOT.
Vehicle testing MUST NOT be performed by a conventional PAT tester since this can damage the vehicle electronics. Read more about our Testing Services
Charging cables should be visually inspected before each use. Cables which are separate from the vehicle should also be electrically tested independently at least every 12 months. This is the longest period that a cable should be used between testing and assumes a professionally assembled cable used in a 'fixed' location that is not subjected to heavy use and is protected from physical damage, water ingress and other factors such as extreme weather (including exposure to strong sunlight)
Cables used intensively, outdoors, trailing on the ground or rattling around in the boot of the vehicle should be formally visually inspected every week and electrically tested more regularly, e.g. every 6 months.
Whenever a cable is subjected to a vehicle drive-over, excessive strain, abrasion, immersion in water or exposure to a contaminent (e.g. dust) it should be returned to ecodrive for inspection and testing, even if no visible damage has occured.
Care must be taken to prevent damage to cables from crushing, cutting and chaffing by avoiding them being shut in vehicle or building doors, caught in lock mechanisms (e.g. boot lid) or mechanisms such as folding seats (cables should not be stored in footwells where the seat mechanisms could pinch the cable)
Any socket outlet to be used for EV recharging should be electrically inspected before first use and then at regular intervals, at least every 12 months. Some sockets on some electrical installations should not be used for recharging EVs: Contact us for information.
Dedicated Charging Stations should also be inspected regularly but incorporate self-testing elements for increased protection and reliability between inspections.
We can carry out a comprehensive PAT test on detachable cables by post. Consult us about testing vehicles and charging sockets. We can test vehicles on-site in certain parts of the UK. Contact us for a quotation.
We can also test other electrical equipment and appliances.
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