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Complete Guide of CTEP for EV Chargers That You Mustn’t Miss

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June 3, 2023

The California Type Evaluation Program (CTEP) for EV chargers is a program that sets standards for the safety and reliability of commercial EV chargers in California. The program is administered by the California Department of Food and Agriculture’s Division of Measurement Standards (DMS) and requires that all commercial EV chargers sold or installed in California be certified to ensure they meet safety standards.

The certification process involves testing of EV chargers to evaluate their electrical safety, electromagnetic compatibility, and communication protocols. The program also sets performance standards for EV chargers, such as charging times and efficiency.

charging an EV

To comply with CTEP, hardware distributors must work with a third-party testing laboratory that is accredited by the DMS. The laboratory will conduct the necessary tests and provide certification if the EV charger meets the required standards. Once certified, the hardware distributor can sell or install the EV charger in California.

Compliance with CTEP is mandatory for all commercial EV chargers sold or installed in California. The program is important for ensuring the safety and reliability of EV charging equipment and could potentially influence EV industry standards more broadly.

Understanding the Link Between CTEP Certification and EV Chargers

The California Department of Food and Agriculture regulates EV chargers as measuring devices under CTEP regulations. This is to ensure that EV drivers receive uniform, accurate charging experiences.

EV charger manufacturers and operators must ensure that their chargers display correct kWh and accept the same payment types. Open and interoperable EV charging station software can help make compliance easier.

Level 1 vs. Level 2 Chargers cost

CTEP Compliance Requirements and Timelines for EV Chargers

All commercial EV chargers that collect a fee must obtain a CTEP certificate of approval (COA). This applies to Level 2 and Level 3 chargers for public use in California. Here are the timelines:

  • As of January 1, 2021, all newly installed commercial AC chargers must comply with CTEP.
  • As of January 1, 2023, all newly installed DC chargers must comply with CTEP.
  • By January 1, 2031, all AC chargers installed before January 1, 2021, are subject to CTEP.
  • By January 1, 2033, all DC chargers installed before January 1, 2023, are subject to CTEP.

CTEP requirements for EV chargers are based on NIST Handbook 44, specifically section 3.40 on electric vehicle fueling systems. Notable provisions include:

  • EVSE must display the price per charge and charge start/stop times. Multi-tiered pricing must show all tier prices before charging.
  • EVSE must display and record electrical output and price in kWh and decimal subdivisions.
  • EVSE must display prices and calculate running costs during charging sessions, even during internet loss.
  • EVSE reset mechanism can’t be active during transactions, and must have a clear label indicating maximum power output.
  • EVSE must undergo field testing for accuracy and provide detailed receipts with itemized charging session costs.

Before starting a gap analysis of your EV charger hardware, check the DMS website’s FAQs section. After remediation, apply for a Certificate of Approval (COA) to obtain CTEP certification.

What is EVSE and CTEP for EV Chargers

Step-by-Step Guide to the CTEP Certification Process for EV Chargers

Here’s a step-by-step guide to the CTEP certification process for EV chargers:

  • Fill out the COA application and pay the $500 non-refundable application fee online.
  • Work with a CTEP evaluator to ensure that your EV chargers meet program requirements.
  • Pay an evaluator fee to cover the cost of services, equipment, travel, and per diem.
  • The evaluator will record observations and take photos during the evaluation process, which will be attached to your COA document.
  • If the DMS approves the evaluation results, you will receive your COA in the mail.
  • The COA will be added to the DMS COA database, and your EV chargers can be sold or installed in California.

Impact of CTEP for electric carson the EV Industry

The CTEP certification process may seem bureaucratic for the EV industry, but it is a net positive. It discourages bad actors from manufacturing subpar products by enforcing safety and performance standards.

Reputable EV charger manufacturers like ABB, Zerova, LiteOn, and EVBox have already received COA, and more brands are likely to follow.

CTEP requirements will make widespread EV adoption easier by bringing standard features to EV chargers. Consumers can expect a uniform experience from visiting an EV charging station, similar to a gas station. Following CTEP standards is one way to achieve this goal.

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