Automotive

New adapter for the installation and maintenance of EV charging stations

4th October 2022
Paige West

Fluke has launched the new FEV300 electric vehicle charging station adapter for electric vehicle charging stations (EVCS).

Designed to simulate an electric vehicle attached to the EVCS, the user-friendly tool allows for the output voltage of an AC charging station Mode 3 with connector types 1 and 2 to be safely and accurately tested in accordance with IEC/HD 60364-7-722 and IEC/EN 61851-1.

Growth of e-mobility

There are approximately 20 million electric vehicles on the road today globally, according to Bloomberg’s Annual Electrical Vehicle Outlook 2022. With rising fuel prices and new fuel economy regulations in many countries, the adoption of electric vehicles as alternatives to fuel-powered vehicles is expected to rise dramatically. Bloomberg suggests electric vehicle share of new vehicle sales market will grow to between 40-50 percent in the UK, France, and Germany by 2025.

EVCS are critical to reducing the charging time for vehicles. A typical, compact vehicle can take between 24 and 36 hours to charge from a domestic mains supply. An EVCS provides one or three phase supply with a mains voltage at 230 volts or 400 volts, charging electric vehicles much faster. For safety, communication between the charging station and the connected electric vehicle must occur before an output voltage is delivered. Adapters, such as the new-to-market FEV300 Adapter from Fluke, are critical pieces of equipment used in the installation and mandatory routine testing of Mode 3 EVCS which provide accelerated charging of 3.7kW to 22kW.

Simple, safe, and reliable

Testing of EVCS must be performed at regular intervals. There are local safety regulations, international and European standards, including the IEC/HD 60364-6, IEC/HD 60364-7-722 and IEC/EN 61851-1, to which installation and testing must adhere too. Both the safety and communication functions of an EVCS must be accurately tested to ensure the safety and efficiency of the electric system for the safe use by owners of electric vehicles. The tests required include continuity of conductors, insulation resistance, automatic disconnection of supply (loop impedance, RCD or RDC-DD test) and functional tests. All of which can be performed using a multifunction installation tester (MFT) such as the Fluke 1663 or Fluke 1664FC.

The FEV300 Adapter is compatible with Fluke’s leading MFTs used in the installation and commissioning of EVCS as well as routine maintenance tests. The FEV300 Adapter can also be paired with Fluke’s range of multimeters or scope meters for investigative troubleshooting.

Hans-Dieter Schuessele, Application & Technology Expert at Fluke says: “The energy which is transferred from an EVCS was previously mostly used in industrial environments – and now it is provided directly to private vehicles. Testing of these high-power, live voltage electric systems is critical to ensure the safety of end users, and the electricians installing and maintaining these essential pieces of equipment.

“The new FEV300 Adapter includes significant safety features such as a touch electrode function which quickly displays if there is a high-risk earth fault and improved safety sockets which are covered by plastic lids to protect the connectors in wet weather conditions. The safety aspects of Fluke’s new FEV300 Adapter surpass other competitive products in the market.” 

Training the workforce to deliver the infrastructure

Fluke is a provider of training programmes for the testing and installation of EVCS in Germany. The market for EVCS is booming, with extended waiting lists for charging stations to be installed. Infrastructure for EVCS across Europe doubled between 2020 and 2021 and is on track to deliver the same volume increase in 2022, according to The European Commission for Alternative Fuels Observatory.

“The e-mobility market is growing at an exponential rate. Many general electricians are now seeking to upskill through certified training programmes for the installation and testing of EVCS to meet this demand. We identified a significant market need for an easy-to-use adapter that could be used for the safe installation and commissioning of EVCS as well as regular maintenance testing and troubleshooting,” said Schuessele.

Fluke has a comprehensive range of rugged, handheld tools and software for e-mobility, allowing technicians to safely test and install charging stations for electric vehicles. Fluke’s solutions are designed for ease-of-use and include market-leading safety features that meet the stringent international and European safety standards for EVCS.   

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