The Nordic Noir series around alleged safety issues and a looming sales ban on Easee wall boxes continue.
Now Norway’s National Communications Authority Nkom is on the case, and its findings essentially leaves the verdict to Swedish and European authorities.
As Nkom put it, there was “no objection to the Swedish Safety Agency’s conclusion in the Easee case”.
The authority also confirmed that this could lead to a sales ban in the entire EEA for the two charging boxes from the Norwegian manufacturer.
So what happened? In February, the Swedish safety institute Elsälerhetverket revealed safety deficiencies in Easee wall boxes.
One of the central problems: Contrary to the declaration, no RCD was installed, according to Elsälerhetverket.
Easee beholds, it relies on a specially developed software solution with sensors instead of an electromechanical RCD in a DIN housing.
But, 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”, and 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.
At the same time, in May, Easee also started to ask distributors to stop selling, especially since, 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.
This is what Norway has done. Following the case, Nkom has now carried out its investigations and writes in conclusion:
“We, as the authority, had really hoped that it would be possible to conclude differently in this case. Unfortunately, despite being given plenty of time, Easee has not sufficiently documented that Easee Home and Easee Charge meet the requirements”.
“For example, Easee has not documented the product’s safety when used over time and under different climatic conditions. We also believe that the safety of the solution for connecting the relays is not sufficiently well documented.”
The Netherlands, Austria and Germany, in particular, had also followed the case and also largely agreed with the Swedish authority’s argumentation.
The Netherlands imposed a temporary sales ban pending a final ruling – but also explicitly no prohibition on using already installed Easee wall boxes; in Austria, Easee had asked the distributor to stop selling.
“We have prepared for this and respect the decision,” said CEO Jonas Helmikstøl when commenting on Nkom’s decision today.
“Our process with documentation has not been good enough, and we will go through our routines with support from external experts before we launch any new products.”
In the statement, Easee further emphasised that the decision by Nkom will not have any impact on those who have already installed the company’s wall boxes.
“All our customers can continue to charge as the products are safe to use,” Easee states.
Still, it is more likely, that the company must stop selling the home chargers in their current specification across the EU.
If no other country in the EEA objects to the conclusion from the Swedish Elsäkerhetsverket by 15 June, and the administrative court in Sweden upholds the decision, Easee is obliged to follow up the decision throughout the EEA, writes Nkom.
In practice, this means a sales ban in all countries in the EEA, including Norway.
Easee says it will launch a new charger on the market very soon.
“This conclusion, the further dialogue with Nkom and support from external experts will help us making sure that everything is a hundred per cent with the documentation. We have been through some challenging months as a company, and we have learned a lot”, said Chief Product Officer Ola Njå Bertelsen.