EC to ensure electric vehicles charger interoperability

The European Commission has handed on June 2010 a mandate for the development of relevent standards on  common charging system for electric cars, scooters and bicycles to the European Standardisation Organisations bodies, CEN-CENELEC and ETSI. Thanks to this mandate plugs and connectors will use the same standard all across Europe, providing a true European solution independently of brands or countries. The Commission expects that the standard will be ready by mid-2011.

On June 29th 2010,  European Commission Vice-President Antonio Tajani handed a European Commission mandate for the development of the relevant standard for electric vehicles chargers to the President of CEN-CENELEC David Dossett, CEN-CENELEC´s Director General Elena Santiago Cid and European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) General Assembly Chair John Philips. These new standards are aimed to ensure that all types of electric vehicles and their batteries are charged both safely and easily in all EU Member States.

In its Communication of 29 April 2010 the European Commission established a roadmap for a coherent framework encouraging the market launch of electrically chargeable vehicles. The mandate that the Commission is now addressing to CENELEC, CEN and ETSI is crucial, and involves three objectives:

  • To ensure that electric vehicles can be safely charged by their drivers
  • To ensure that electric vehicle chargers (including their removable batteries) interoperate with the electricity supply points and all types of electric vehicles. This would allow users to recharge their electric vehicles anywhere in the EU by using the same charger
  • The mandate requests the standardisation bodies to consider the so-called smart-charging issues. Smart-charging will allow users to charge vehicles at off-peak times to get the lowest price and most efficient use of energy.

The design of the European standard will take into account ongoing activities in international standardisation fora. The European Commission will continue to work closely with the standardisation bodies and industry to ensure the timely development of the standard.

As Vice-President Antonio Tajani highlighted, “electric cars are no longer some abstract concept. In the very near future these will be on our roads. To pave the way for their commercial success we cannot afford to have incompatible systems leading to a fragmented market in Europe. A common approach is therefore of importance both for European consumers and companies and will allow the EU to become a global leader in the sector”.

European Standardisation

European standards are developed by the European Standardisation organisations through voluntary cooperation among industry, consumers, public authorities and other interested parties for the development of technical specifications based on consensus. Standardisation tackles the interoperability of complementary products/services, requirements for safety, health or environmental performance.