70% of China’s EV charging posts could be lethal, report finds

Issues discovered include substandard quality, insufficient electrical insulation, and a lack of maintenance.

Photo: Shutterstock

As many as 70% of electric-vehicle (EV) charging posts in China failed to meet the national safety standards and could pose a danger to consumers’ safety, China’s state-run media CCTV reported Sunday, citing latest statistics from a research institute.

The Guangdong Testing Institute of Product Quality Supervision found out that, seven out of the ten batches of EV charges, sampled from nine companies, have design flaws and fail the country’s National Recommended Standards.

The issues range from the charging posts’ poor quality in preventing metal corrosion, insufficient waterproofing performance, failure in alerting users when malfunctioning, as well as a lack of regular maintenance.

The survey didn’t name the companies involved but warned of life dangers if such stations are not properly managed, according to the CCTV report.

A charging station. Photo: CCTV

In the past few months, several cases of vehicle ‘self-combustion’ involving both Chinese and US EV makers have spread concerns amongst consumers. Nio was hit by three incidents in a short span of two months, while Tesla saw one engulfed in fire in a parking lot in Shanghai in April. No fatalities were reported in all the cases though.

Currently, EV charging posts are not regulated in China. But that’s set to change, as authorities are formulating regulations slated to take effect by the end of this year, reported CCTV, citing Zheng Jiatu, Deputy Secretary-General of the China Electric Vehicle Charging Technology and Industry Alliance.

China is the world’s largest EV market, with more than 3.4 million registered as of the end of June, a 73% increase from the same period last year, according to the Ministry of Public Security.

To further shore up the growth of the EV industry, Beijing wants 4.5 million charging posts installed across the country by 2020, a big jump from today’s 1 million.