Why TPE Cable Can’t Used in Europe?

EV charging industry is a brand new industry. Before 2017, there were no standard for charging cables for electric vehicles throughout. Different certification authorities have different standards as to which cables are safe and secure for electric vehicle charging.

2 Pfg 1908

“2 Pfg 1908” standard was adopted in Europe by TUV as the standard for ev charging cables. TPE, as one of the cable insulations/ sheaths, was legally used in Europe. Manufacturers of TPE cables would get their TUV certificates as long as their cables pass the certification by TUV in accordance with the standard of “2 Pfg 1908”.

With better performance than PVC and higher cost-effectiveness than TPU, TPE was widely used in the ev charging industry. Certified by TUV, one of the most well-know certification authorities in Europe, TPE cables were well accepted by the European ev charging market.

EN50620 2017

In 2017, EN50620 2017 was issued. This standard specifies design design, dimensions and test requirements for halogen-free cables with extruded insulation and sheath having a voltage rating of up to and including 450/750 V for flexible applications under severe condition for the power supply between the electricity supply point or the charging station and the vehicle. This standard describes cables whose safety and reliability is ensured when they are installed and/or used in accordance to the guide to use EN 50565-1 and ANNEX B.

EN50620 2017/A1:2019

EN50620 2017/A1:2019 is an amendment of EN50620 2017. In EN50620 2017/A1:2019, “the latest date by which the national standards conflicting with this document have to be withdrawn is” 2022-03-22″. So TUV asked holders who have obtained TUV certificates for the “2 PFG 1908” standard cables to adopt to cables in accordance with “EN50620 2017/A1:2019” standards and get their new cables certified by TUV according to the same standard.

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The reason of banning TPE cables in Europe is not that they are harmful or environmentally-unfriendly, but the TPE cables can’t pass the “Tear Strength” test (see the picture below), which is a must in EN50620 2017/A1:2019 (see the picture below).

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If manufacturers of ev charging cables want to sell their products sold in Europe, they have to adopt to TPU cables. However, they can still sell TPE cables to other countries and regions where TPE can be legally used, only there won’t be any TUV or CE mark on the products. TUV and CE certifications are well recognized in other countries and regions outside Europe. Once the TPE cables can’t have the TUV or CE mark, the manufacturers of TPE cables will have to have their products certified by certification authorities according to the laws where the TPE cables are sold.

Different certificates to be obtained in different countries and regions will add to the cost of the manufacturers. TPU cables are around 35% more expensive than TPE cables, but they are more flexible and environment-friendly, thus more preferred. So it’s a question for manufacturers to answer whether to give up TPE cables in countries and regions that value TUV and CE certifications.

Manufacturers of EV Connectors

Manufacturers of ev connectors often sell their ev connectors with cables. In order to sell the Type 1, Type 2, CCS 1 or CCS 2 ev charging cables in Europe, the manufacturers will have to get their version of certificates. As part of the plugged cable, the TPE cables’ illegality in Europe means the manufacturers of electric vehicle connectors have to update their TUV or CE certificates too. Any one plugged or two plugged ev charging cable with TPE jacket won’t be eligible to have a TUV or CE mark if the manufacturer has got the TUV certificate updated according to “EN50620 2017/A1:2019”. So it’s important to check with the manufacturers whether they have got the latest TUV or CE certificates before buying TPE jacketed ev charging cables.

It’s hard to explain to buyers why they have to buy more expensive TPU cables. This article may help.

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