After Sweden banned the sales of Easee wall boxes due to potential safety deficiencies, authorities in other countries have become active. In Austria, Easee is now temporarily restricting the sale of two products itself, and the situation also appears to have changed in Germany.
Brief review: In February, the Swedish safety institute Elsälerhetverket revealed safety deficiencies in the wall boxes of the Norwegian manufacturer. Easee refuted the initial allegation that no RCD was installed, contrary to the declaration. But Easee relies on a specially developed software solution with sensors instead of an electromechanical RCD in a DIN housing. Since, in the view of the Swedish authorities, there is still a risk “that the earth leakage circuit breaker does not always trip when and as it should”, a sales stop was imposed on the ‘Ready’ and ‘Charge’ wall boxes of the Norwegian manufacturer in mid-March. There was “no solution with residual current circuit breaker and DC protection that meets the requirements of the standards for which the device is declared”, Elsälerhetverket said. Easee has appealed, and the case in Sweden is still pending.
Then in April, the National Digital Infrastructure Regulatory Authority (Rijksinspectie Digitale Infrastruktur, RDI) in the Netherlands agreed with the Swedish authority’s argumentation and imposed a temporary sales ban pending a final ruling – but explicitly no prohibition on the use of already installed Easee wall boxes. In the Netherlands, it is open whether the RDI will also adopt the appeal ruling in Sweden.
As Easee Germany explained on request, the decision of the Elsälerhetverket triggered an EU procedure in which the Swedish authority had to notify the European Commission and all member states of its measures towards Easee. “According to EU requirements, the EU/EEA countries must initiate their own procedures and have completed them in June 2023 or follow the Swedish authority’s measures without conducting their own review,” the company said. “The sales ban in the Netherlands is, therefore, the result of the EU/EEA notification procedure.” (Note that this is also why there has been no word of such safety risks in the UK.)
Federal Network Agency and the Austrian telecommunications authority are also investigating.
In other words, in the Netherlands and other EU countries, the authorities are now asking questions about Easee. The editors of electrive.net have received a letter from Easee to an Austrian distribution partner. After the proceedings in Sweden, the Austrian telecommunications authority “requested the submission of certain documents”. Easee has complied and is “confident that our product review will be completed in a timely manner”.
Nevertheless, Easee is asking the distribution partner to stop selling the wall boxes for the time being. “As long as the review is ongoing, we request that you – temporarily – remove the Easee Home and Easee Charge product from your homepage and not sell it,” the email reads verbatim.
In Germany, a similar step is underway. Although there has not yet been such a mail, similar statements are said to have been made by Easee sales staff on the phone to electrical installers – that there are enquiries from the authorities and that Easee will not deliver any more wall boxes to the installation company until they have been clarified. Other installers have not yet received a reply to Easee’s enquiries.
Easee confirms that the Federal Network Agency has initiated its own procedure. “We have comprehensively answered the agency’s questions and submitted our statement in due time. Currently, no decision has been made. Until the decision of the Federal Network Agency in June, we cannot provide any further information on the ongoing proceedings,” the statement reads.
However, Easee Germany does not confirm that such a telephone conversation has already occurred with a German installer. “Against this background, talks have already been held with partners in some countries. In Germany, these talks have not taken place.”
The possible consequences remain unclear. Potential measures range from an adjustment of the documentation on the operation of the charger (where so far no explicit reference has been made to the fully electronic instead of the electromechanical RCD solution) to a recall of already installed wall boxes – and in case of doubt, each national authority or an appeal court in each country may decide differently, which would make the situation even more complex.
Basically, the company reiterates its stance of wanting to clarify the matter with the authorities. “As you know, we disagree with the basis of the sales ban imposed by the Swedish Electrical Safety Authority, Elsäkerhetsverket, have documented this in detail and have appealed to the Swedish court,” Easee said. “These proceedings will continue for several months. Our intention and ambition remain to resolve the situation as soon as possible.”
Source: info via email; reporting by Sebastian Schaal, Germany.