What Is UL2271 and Why Is It Important?

Posted July 28, 2020

UL2271 is a standard for batteries for use in light electric vehicle applications. In this week's Tech Tuesday, we explain UL2271 testing and why it's important for the safety of lithium batteries. Fun fact: RELiON's Insight 48V is one of the only LEV batteries on the market today to attain UL2271 certification!

Lithium Battery Safety Certifications

Underwriters Laboratories, or UL, is a global safety certification organization headquartered in Northbrook, Illinois with offices and labs in 46 countries. It was established in 1894 as Underwriters Electrical Bureau but became known as Underwriters Laboratories through most of the 20th century. UL has been a leader in the development of safety standards for many modern electrical products with their mission of “Working for a safer world.” UL certification is easily identifiable by their distinctive logo embossed or printed on products or their labels.

UL2271 is a standard for batteries for use in light electric vehicle or LEV applications. Released in 2013, UL2271 was developed by a multinational technical committee that included participants from DuPont, LG Chemical, NASA, General Motors, Ford, the US Army, and Transport Canada to name a few.

Light electric vehicles encompass a wide variety of mobility products including electric bicycles, scooters, motorcycles, wheelchairs, golf cars, ride-on floor care machines, and lawnmowers.

The RELiON Insight 48V is one of the only LEV batteries on the market today to attain UL2271 certification. Although LiFePO4 is an inherently safe chemistry, UL2271 certification further ensures the safety of the Insight 48V battery in its assembled form.

What do UL Certifications Mean?

UL2271 evaluates all of the components that make up the battery. These include construction criteria as the enclosure must be resistant to impact, crushing, heat and flame, water, and UV light. Wiring must be designed to prevent excessive strain and inadvertent shorting and protective circuits must have redundant features that continue to function upon loss of power.

Batteries must be able to withstand over-charging, over-discharging, short circuit, imbalanced charging, and operation at maximum specified temperature. In addition, batteries must be able to withstand vibration, shock, crushing, drops, and rollover. They also must pass environmental tests such as immersion and exposure tests to stated IP67 rating and rapid thermal cycling from extremes of hot to cold and cold to hot.

In order to receive UL2271 certification, batteries must not explode, catch fire, rupture, leak electrolyte, present an electric shock hazard, or lose any of their protection controls as a result of any of the above tests.

RELiON takes safety and environmental sustainability seriously, which is why we take the extra time and expense to certify our Insight Series to UL2580, UL2271, CE, IEC 62133, and UN38.3.

If you have any questions on UL2271 or any of our other certifications, contact us and one of our technical experts can help.