The Critical Need for Surge Protection in Electric Car Charging Systems

By Dion Neri, Engineering Manager, MCG Surge Protection, Inc.

Deer Park, NY May, 2015

Electric Cars are inherently more reliable than the gasoline ones that they are replacing. So, anyone who purchases one of these vehicles can reasonably expect years of trouble-free transportation. Typically these cars are driven in the daytime and electrically charged at night.

However, these reliable new vehicles are subject to severe damage by transients while they are being charged. These transients may be the result of a nearby lightning strike, utility failures, or human error. Transients can do severe damage to the charger, the batteries, and other parts of the car.

Damage to the vehicle is not the only cost issue for the owner - there is also the hassle of having it towed to the dealer for repair, which can result in days of lost use. Even if the damage is covered by its warranty, and it may not be, an event such as this is a great inconvenience.

The best way to minimize the risk is to install AC Power Line Surge Protectors (SPD) especially designed for this application by MCG Surge Protection. MCG’s PT series or M series are typically used in these applications, specifically a PT80-120T-BB or 125M-120T-A.The surge protectors come with a 20-yr, “No Nonsense” warranty and free replacement modules, where applicable, for life.

Another benefit of using surge protectors is that surges generated by the car’s electric motors will be prevented from back feeding to the service panel, and damaging computers, cell phones/tablets (while they’re charging), HDTV, HVAC controls, and other sensitive electronic equipment at the residence. The protectors include low-frequency filters that minimize low-frequency noise interference in electrical systems. Surge protectors are cost-effective and easily installed by licensed electricians. Installing surge protection devices (SPD) ensures that all of your electronics equipment operates more reliably.

MCG has been manufacturing surge protectors for over 48 years. They also protect chargers used with forklifts, golf carts, and other similar devices. For additional information, please visit, or contact Dion Neri, at

Recommended MCG surge protection models for EV charging stations:


Affordable protection for local panels.

  • I peak=40,000A/Phase (8x20μs waveform)
  • UL1449 3rd Edition Listed


More powerful protection and monitoring.

  • I peak=80,000A/Phase (8x20μs waveform)
  • UL1449 3rd Edition Listed


Robust modular protection.

  • I peak=160,000A/Phase (8x20μs waveform)
  • UL1449 3rd Edition Listed