Challenges the power network faces to support the electric vehicle future

Learn how the increased demand for electrical vehicles is set to impact operations of power networks and understand the cable considerations that must be made to maintain efficient electricity transmission and distribution. Read on to discover how you can ensure the electric vehicle (EV) charging cable products chosen for your projects are fit for purpose, to withstand continued use over several years.

The UK is predicted to have approximately 36 million electric vehicles, EVs on the road by the year 2040. The increased dependence on electric powered transport such as cars, buses and lorries requires widespread accessibility of charging infrastructure that provides rapid power facilities. A major challenge impacting the adoption of EVs is the lack of charging amenities currently in place. A significant investment into the charging infrastructure is required to ensure that the facilities are readily available in key locations such as residential areas, public carparks and streets, places of work and at service stations along major roads. As part of the UK Government’s “Road to Zero” strategy, EV charge points will become a common feature within homes across the UK as part of the transition to the integration of smarter, more efficient energy sources.


Impacting factors on electricity supply

The power network will need to accommodate more renewable energy sources, generated both nationally and locally, over the coming decades in order to decarbonise the system. A challenge with integrating renewable sources is that the supply is largely intermittent and continuous energy generation cannot be relied upon, therefore backup supply in storage or on standby is required to ensure a stable power source. Cable products are a vital connecter in the power transmission and distribution infrastructure to facilitate the smooth flow of electricity between components. Robust cabling that can operate within complex systems is a must to respond to demands for applications such as electric vehicle charging.

The weather is an additional factor that can impact how much energy an electric vehicle consumes and tends to perform better during warmer temperatures. This therefore puts greater pressure on electricity demand during the winter months when the range is smaller, meaning larger amounts of electricity are required. Additionally, there are environmental stressors that impact cable performance such as temperatures and exposure to ultraviolet. Third party cable testing provides an indication of how the cable materials will react in prolonged or extreme conditions to determine that it complies with existing EV standards.

Electric vehicle charging regulations

The BS7671:2018 standard refers to EV charging installations, of which an amendment 1:2020 was made impacting all installations from 31st July 2020. Meeting compliance criteria within this developing standard is integral to the successful implementation of EV charging systems, or charge points, thus enabling the charging function to stand the test of time and demonstrate continued performance and durability. Testing and certification services delivered by BASEC for EV charging cable products are in line with BS7671:2018 +A1:2020 EV Charging Amendment 1, additionally supporting compliance to other recognised EV standards such as the IEC 62893 series or EN 50620. Using EV charging cables that have gained independent approval, to recognised standards, ensures cable reliability via a complete cable assessment. Many infrastructures, once installed, may require instrumentation, remote control or require the need for data telecommunications cables to enable the flow of data back to a control centre. EV cables certified to IEC 62893 or EN 50620 standards will enable intelligent charging by simultaneously allowing power supply and data communication. Smart cable connections allow electric vehicles and charging devices to communicate with each other and the wider charging station systems. This will help to optimise the power distribution and consumption and ensure that the network is not overloaded during peak times.

Ongoing surveillance audits and sample testing are an essential part of the certification and assurance processes, verifying that cables continue to meet the required levels of quality. Assessments are conducted several times a year, over a three year product certification period. The technical cable experts at BASEC undertake continuous, independent market surveillance throughout the supply chain, including the assessment of cable stockists, wholesalers and distributors as part of the Registered Stockist scheme. Stockists undergo a thorough audit of their facilities and procurement, handling and all other processes, in additional to this cable samples are selected for testing. Testing at the point of prior to sale helps to ensure that cable quality has been maintained since leaving the manufacturing source. Always sourcing certified cable products from a BASEC approved Registered Stockist gives you the peace of mind that the products you buy are fit for purpose.


Key takeaways

EV cables certified to IEC 62893 or EN 50620 standards will enable intelligent charging by simultaneously allowing power supply and data communication. This will help the power networks to optimise the power distribution and consumption and ensure that the network is not overloaded during peak times. Efficient and reliable cable products are imperative to support the future of power distribution networks. Providing smooth transmission of electricity to facilitate the operations of new technologies and systems. Third party testing ensures that the cables have been stringently tested against key characteristics to determine that the products perform in line with the requirements set in the relevant standards. Evidence the highest levels of quality and safety with BASEC cable testing and certification.

Download your free EV charging cable testing guide today, to learn more about the important role of cables across the EV charging network and how third party approval helps to minimise risks that the grid faces. When quality matters, specify BASEC approved cables to support the success of your projects and safeguard charging applications for years to come.