Calibration law in eMobility
eMobility is no longer a matter for the future, but is already a worthwhile alternative to conventional combustion cars. Expansion of the charging infrastructure is therefore inevitable. At first glance, the German regulations on calibration seem to be a hindrance. In fact, however, calibration law ensures transparency for drivers during charging processes and is therefore a must if charging processes are to be billed in a legally valid way.
What is calibration law?
Among other things, the German measurement and calibration law specifies which requirements must be met for measuring devices. This is to ensure correct measurement results. The calibration regulations are particularly important when measurements are the basis for legal transactions and payment, as is the case with water, gas, heat or electricity meters.
This is where calibration law becomes important for eMobility. This is because electricity meters installed in charging stations must guarantee measurements that comply with calibration law in order to be able to indicate electricity consumption in a legally secure manner.
What does calibration conformity mean for eMobility?
Originally, when charging their vehicles, drivers were not necessarily informed of the conditions under which they could obtain electricity from the respective providers. The actual consumption and its costs also remained a mystery until the payment was finally debited from the account.
In addition, different operators of charging stations had different billing methods. Either lump sums were charged per kilowatt hour (kW/h), but without deducting the charging station’s own electricity consumption, or cents were charged per charging minute. Some billing models even combined both approaches.
The calibration law put an end to the provider chaos and has since provided clear regulations. In concrete terms, for charging station operators this means that the integrated electricity meters must bill accurately to the kilowatt hour. For electric car drivers, it is therefore already clear what they will be charged per kW/h of electricity before the charging process starts.
What does charging in compliance with calibration law mean?
For a charging station to be considered compliant with calibration law, it must have a “type examination certificate” from the VDE Institute. This means that integrated electricity meters in charging stations must meet the requirements of the VDE Institute or the Measuring Instruments Directive (MDI).
The calibration law therefore mainly ensures transparency and reliability for drivers. The law came into force in 2015, but due to special regulations and extensions of the deadline, it has only been fully applicable since 1 April 2019.