In California, any new device meant for weighing or measuring during a transaction must first be certified by the Department of Food and Agriculture's Division of Measurement Standards (DMS). Scales measuring everything from produce to jewelry to waste and recycling, as well as counters in ATMs, automated toll machines, and token dispensers are all subject to these metrology egulations, which are enforced by inspectors in every county.
These regulations exist for both consumer and supplier: consumers want to ensure they’re getting what they paid for, suppliers need confidence they’re only giving what was paid for.
What is CTEP?
DMS runs California’s Type Evaluation Program (CTEP), which checks metered devices to ensure they meet California's laws and regulations. The goal is to confirm that these devices, including EV chargers and other equipment, are well-designed, accurate and free from any fraudulent elements. Essentially, CTEP certifies that these devices are suitable for their intended purposes and can be trusted for reliable measurements.
Once a device successfully passes the requirements, DMS grants it a Certificate of Approval (COA). This certificate allows the device to be used for commercial purposes within the state. It's an assurance to consumers that the device is up to the standards required for fair trade.
CTEP isn't the only regulation in the US, in fact a National Type Evaluation Program (NTEP) exists to provide a final review and approval for measuring devices and will be discussing amendments to national EV charging regulations in 2024.
How CTEP applies to EV charging
In 2019, DMS extended CTEP to commercial electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE), to ensure that hardware accurately charge consumers for the amount of electricity being transferred from source to vehicle.
They imposed these deadlines for EV chargers to be CTEP-compliant:
- January 1, 2021: for new Level 2 chargers
- January 1, 2023: for new Level 3 DC fast chargers
- January 1, 2031: Level 2 chargers installed before 2021
- January 1, 2033: Level 3 DC chargers installed before 2023
Common CTEP misconceptions
Misconception 1: California Air Resources Board (CARB) regulations are the same CTEP regulations.
Fact: CARB sets national standards designed to reduce air pollution and protect public health, including requirements for EVs and charging stations. The main difference between CARB regulations for EV charging and CTEP for EV charging is that CARB requires hardware to have credit card readers (CCRs), CTEP requires products to have a digital display.
Misconception 2: CTEP only applies to public charging.
Fact: CTEP applies to any and all commercial sale of energy regardless if its only accessible to some people (e.g. multifamily dwelling, office space, hotel) or open to everyone (e.g. grocery store, shopping mall, convenience store
What CTEP compliance requires of EV charging hardware
For hardware to be CTEP-compliant, it must:
- Display a broad set of information on a display (excluding a smartphone app) including:
- Energy delivered to 4 decimal resolution (0.0001kWh)
- Unit price $0.00/kWh or $0.00/hr
- Be sealed so that the meter can't be altered
- Have a clear label showing temperature range, voltage, type of current (AC or DC) and a few other details
Along with these—and perhaps most importantly—EV charging stations must be highly accurate to be CTEP-compliant.
Level 2 chargers must have an un-alterable 1% accuracy of the amount displayed and be within 3% accuracy when in regular use.
Level 3 DC fast chargers installed before January 1, 2033, must be factory tested to be within 2.5% accuracy of the amount displayed, and within 7.5% accuracy when in regular use. Those tolerances tighten to 1.0% at the factory and 3% in the field after January 1, 2033.
This means a CTEP-compliant commercial Level 2 charger will deliver anywhere from 97 to 103 kWh per 100 kWh of recorded use, and a Level 3 charger will deliver anywhere from 92.5 kWh to 107.5 kWh per 100 kWh of recorded use.
Enel X Way CTEP-compliant chargers
Enel X Way offers CTEP-compliant and award-winning commercial EV chargers at a range of charging speeds. The JuiceBox® Pro comes in 32, 40, 48 and 80 amp options, all of which have load balancing capabilities that enable them to seamlessly share a single electrical circuit with a second JuiceBox Pro for dual charging. When any of these JuiceBox Pro models are mounted on a JuicePedestal™ with an Enel X Way credit card reader, property owners and their customers get peace of mind. JuicePump™ DC fast chargers with displays are also CTEP-compliant, allowing drivers to view charge rate by kW or minute prior to initiating charging session.
For organizations looking to install EV charging infrastructure, CTEP-compliant chargers aren’t just a best practice, in most cases they’re a requirement. It's important for installers and operators to comply with their local metrology requirements, both in California and nationally.
Even where there isn’t a requirement, buying a CTEP-compliant EV charging stations helps property owners ensure they are deploying what the Division of Measurement Standards considers the most accurate, user-friendly chargers on the market.