Powering Up North American Market Access: Wallbox and UL
Barcelona, Spain-based Wallbox, a smart charging company, was founded in 2015 with a mission to liberate the world from fossil fuels. The company develops and manufactures electric vehicle (EV) charging solutions for homes, businesses and cities, supporting the world’s transition to a planet powered by renewable energy. When the company wanted to enter the North American market, it sought out a certification partner that has deep and broad knowledge. They chose UL Solutions, a global safety science leader.
According to Till Wilmschen, program manager at Wallbox, “After having launched our EV smart charger in Europe and China, Wallbox’s biggest challenge to entering the North American market was certification. We understood the safety certification requirements for the markets we were currently in, but the requirements in North America are more stringent. We needed a knowledgeable certification partner.”
The charger is designed with an internal relay that directs power from the electrical grid to the vehicle and includes safety features that put the device in safe mode if something goes wrong. Wallbox realized that North American certification requirements would include not only the end product, but also the firmware, software and other more theoretical aspects of their system throughout the entire development life cycle.
The standards that the device would need to be certified to include:
- UL 2594, the Standard for Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment
- CSA C22.2 No. 280, Standard for Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment
- UL 2231-1, the Standard for Safety for Personnel Protection Systems for Electric Vehicle (EV) Supply Circuits
- CSA C22.2 No. 281.1, the Standard for Safety for Personnel Protection Systems for Electric Vehicle (EV) Supply Circuits
- UL 2231-2, the Standard for Personnel Protection Systems for Electric Vehicle (EV) Supply Circuits
- CAN/CSAC22.2 No. 281.2-12, the Standard for Personnel Protection Systems for Electric Vehicle (EV) Supply Circuits
- UL 1998, the Standard for Software in Programmable Components
- UL 991, the Standard for Tests for Safety-Related
Wallbox wanted guidance on testing requirements contained within those standards.
“We started working with Wallbox on a component construction review,” said David Braeutigam, senior project engineer for UL Solutions. “And then we planned the testing. We worked closely with them to ensure they had the knowledge necessary to understand and conduct the tests in accordance with the standards.”
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"We’re a fast-growing tech company and wanted to choose a partner that could support our growth while offering top-of-class expertise. While we already apply best practice design and manufacture methodologies, working with UL has helped us reinforce and intensify the most effective of these throughout the life cycle of our products, like end-of-line tests, and development practices, such as risk analysis.”