Technical Articles

IEC 61851: Electric Vehicle Conductive Charging System

IEC 61851: Electric Vehicle Conductive Charging System




The International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) standard 61851, titled "Electric Vehicle Conductive Charging System," sets the specifications and requirements for the conductive charging systems used to charge electric vehicles (EVs). As the adoption of electric vehicles continues to grow worldwide, the development of standardized charging infrastructure plays a crucial role in supporting the widespread adoption of electric mobility. Compliance with IEC 61851 ensures the safety, interoperability, and performance of conductive charging systems, contributing to the seamless integration of EVs into the transportation ecosystem.


Scope of IEC 61851


IEC 61851 covers various aspects of conductive charging systems for electric vehicles, including charging modes, connectors, communication protocols, safety requirements, performance parameters, and interoperability standards. The standard addresses both AC (alternating current) and DC (direct current) charging systems, offering guidelines for conductive charging infrastructure at home, workplace, public charging stations, and fast-charging networks. IEC 61851 aims to establish a common framework for EV charging systems to ensure compatibility, reliability, and safety for EV users and stakeholders.


Key Requirements of IEC 61851


The key requirements of IEC 61851 focus on the following aspects to ensure the safety and effectiveness of electric vehicle conductive charging systems:


1. Charging Modes: IEC 61851 defines different charging modes, including Mode 1, Mode 2, Mode 3, and Mode 4, each with specific requirements for power delivery, connection methods, and safety features. The standard outlines the characteristics and limitations of each charging mode to guide the design, implementation, and operation of charging infrastructure for electric vehicles.


2. Connectors and Communication: The standard specifies the types and configurations of connectors used in conductive charging systems, such as Type 1, Type 2, CCS (Combined Charging System), and CHAdeMO connectors. It also establishes communication protocols, data exchange formats, and signaling methods for EVs and charging stations to facilitate safe and efficient charging interactions.


3. Safety and Protection: IEC 61851 outlines safety requirements, protection mechanisms, and interlock features for conductive charging systems to prevent electrical hazards, overheating, overcurrent, short circuits, and unauthorized access. Charging stations must incorporate safety features such as ground fault protection, insulation monitoring, and emergency stop functions to ensure user safety and operational reliability.


4. Performance and Efficiency: The standard sets performance parameters for electric vehicle charging systems, including charging power, voltage levels, current rating, power factor, efficiency, and energy measurement accuracy. Charging stations must meet these performance criteria to deliver reliable, fast, and efficient charging services for electric vehicles while optimizing energy consumption and grid integration.


Benefits of Compliance with IEC 61851


Compliance with IEC 61851 offers several benefits to manufacturers, operators, EV owners, and regulatory authorities involved in the deployment of electric vehicle charging infrastructure:


1. Safety and Reliability: Electric vehicle conductive charging systems that adhere to the safety requirements of IEC 61851 provide safe, reliable, and secure charging operations for EV users, minimizing risks of electrical accidents, equipment damage, and system malfunctions during the charging process.


2. Interoperability and Compatibility: By following the connector types, communication protocols, and charging standards of IEC 61851, charging infrastructure developers ensure interoperability, compatibility, and seamless integration of EV charging systems, enabling EV owners to charge their vehicles at various locations and charging networks.


3. Convenience and Accessibility: Standardized EV charging systems compliant with IEC 61851 offer convenient, accessible, and user-friendly charging experiences for electric vehicle owners, promoting widespread adoption of EVs, reducing range anxiety, and enhancing the convenience of electric mobility.


4. Regulatory Compliance and Market Acceptance: Conformance to the requirements of IEC 61851 helps manufacturers and operators comply with regulatory mandates, industry standards, and certification programs for EV charging infrastructure, enhancing market acceptance, customer trust, and competitiveness in the evolving electric vehicle market.




IEC 61851 plays a pivotal role in establishing the specifications and requirements for electric vehicle conductive charging systems to support the growth and adoption of electric mobility. Compliance with the standard ensures the safety, interoperability, and performance of EV charging infrastructure, enabling EV users to charge their vehicles efficiently, securely, and conveniently at home, work, or public locations. By following the guidelines of IEC 61851, stakeholders in the electric vehicle industry can promote sustainable transportation, reduce carbon emissions, and accelerate the transition to electromobility, contributing to a greener and more sustainable future for transportation.



Contact: Eason Wang

Phone: +86-13751010017


Add: 1F Junfeng Building, Gongle, Xixiang, Baoan District, Shenzhen, Guangdong, China

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