Electricians and home insurers have long recommended—or required, in some cases—that home appliances and electrical devices be UL certified and carry that familiar circular seal. 

Until relatively recently, some electric car chargers didn't carry it, and there were popular electric-vehicle chargers that carried no UL seal.

Automakers have started paying attention to it by only recommending UL Listed chargers. And UL has not only upped its game with charging companies but it’s also entering the entire electric-vehicle space. Its automotive division now includes testing for battery safety, charging systems, and grid integration, and will address V2G systems, battery repurposing, and home energy storage—hopefully to allow manufacturers to have shorter development cycles on some innovations and home-energy systems. 

Mercedes-Benz energy storage system

Mercedes-Benz energy storage system

To do that, UL has just opened a “large-scale electric vehicle battery laboratory” in Changzhou, China, to support EV-specific needs and claims that it will be one of the most advanced in the world. 

In short, UL testing vouches for a product’s safety, assuring that underwriters—thus the name—can stand behind an acceptably low level of risk. And that, perhaps, will help reassure more people to embrace some good clean-energy ideas.