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ESFI Releases Electric Vehicle Installer Survey Results

ESFI Releases Electric Vehicle Installer Survey Results

ESFI : When asked about EVSE training, 82% of installers believed EVSE should have a specific certification

The Electrical Safety Foundation (ESFI) recently surveyed electric vehicle (EV) installers to gauge their understanding of the safe installation of electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE), or EV charging stations and chargers. The goal of the survey was to identify safety gaps related to emerging technology to keep installers safe. When asked about EVSE training, 76% of installers said they had specific training, while 82% believed EVSE should have a specific certification.

Survey respondents shared concerns about the high voltage involved in EVSE systems. If the high voltage is not handled properly, it can lead to various safety issues, including electrocution, electrical shock, and fires. “EV installers must be trained to work with EVSE systems properly and take necessary safety precautions,” said ESFI President Brett Brenner. “Contact with or exposure to electricity is one of the leading causes of workplace fatalities. Always follow safety procedures on every job to keep yourself safe from injury.”

When respondents were asked how often they encounter safety concerns when installing EVSE, 39% of installers said occasionally, while 23% said often or always. The most frequently mentioned safety concern was the risk of electrocution or electrical shock, either due to installation errors, wiring mistakes, or working with live wires. Many respondents mentioned worries about incorrect or faulty wiring, improper connections, and incorrect wire gauges. Another common concern was the risk of fire, often resulting from overcharging, overheating, poor installation, or incorrect wiring. Concerns related to the installation site and environmental issues were also mentioned frequently.

Several respondents also expressed concerns about a lack of professional training or expertise, whether in themselves or others, and the potential safety hazards this could lead to. This includes installers who are not properly trained to work with EVSE systems or who are not aware of the necessary safety precautions.

“The National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) supports the safe sound growth of the electric vehicle market and emphasizes that both qualified contractors and qualified electricians are essential for servicing and maintaining EVSE,” said Michael J. Johnston, Executive Director of Codes and Standards at NECA. “There is rapid expansion underway of EVSE installation, service, and maintenance. Safe installations of these circuits and systems are critical and this requires qualified contractors and installers to get it right. NECA is heavily engaged in the development of the latest national electrical codes and standards. Understanding and applying these codes and standards are an integral part of electrical contractors’ businesses. NECA members are on the front lines when it comes to compliance with adopted codes and standards, and we have the necessary expertise and qualifications in this area of electrical contracting. NECA supports the survey and outreach by ESFI to gather critical information related to ensuring that EVSE are safe when installed, and the electricians that install them remain safe while doing so.”

The top challenges respondents encountered when installing EVSE included electrical infrastructure issues, location concerns, regulatory and safety challenges, customer-related issues, and technical problems. Respondents mentioned encountering outdated wiring, insufficient power supplies, a lack of suitable circuit breaker panels, handling high currents, replacing old wiring, and upgrading or installing new panels. Further, respondents cited issues complying with local regulations, securing permits, and ensuring safety standards. A few respondents also mentioned the need to maintain caution during installation.

Installers stated that their customers – 56% – also expressed concerns when having EVSE installed. These concerns were about their general safety, including risk of electrocution, fires, and overall harm, especially to children. Other concerns involved power and charging issues, including power supplies, charging capabilities, charging speed, sufficient power to charge the vehicle, and over or under charging the vehicle. Customers were also concerned about installation issues, including location of the EVSE, interference with existing infrastructure, and whether the EVSE installation is safe, qualified, and certified.

As the trusted voice for electric safety, ESFI strives to keep workers safe on the jobsite. Working with electricity is extremely dangerous, so it’s important to always hire qualified electrical workers, including for EVSE installation. ESFI urges installers to know the limit of their qualifications to avoid electrical injuries and fatalities. It’s imperative to stop and reassess a situation if there is a doubt about a job’s task or a procedure’s requirement. Knowing when to say when and stop work can save your life and the lives of those around you. For additional free EV safety resources you can share throughout your community, visit.

Manufacturing & Engineering Magazine | The Home of Manufacturing Industry News

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