The European Commission has issued a legislative proposal for a Europeancommon safety standard for electric vehicles. This proposal is part of the wider European Strategy on Clean and Energy Efficient Vehicles, and sets into action the first part of the European Commission’s roadmap on regulations and standards for electric vehicles.
The proposed legislation aims to:
- Bring EU legislation in line with the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) legislation on approval of battery electric vehicles and their construction and safety requirements.
- Ensure that all vehicles marketed within the EU are constructed for a common safety standard for the electric vehicles.
- Protect vehicle users from getting into direct contact with high voltage parts of the vehicle.
- Harmonise testing requirements in order to simplify approval of electric vehicles.
Under the new type-approval system, automotive manufacturers will only need to obtain approval for a vehicle type in one Member State. The proposal should thus improve EU manufacturers’ market access to third countries which are contracting parities of the UNECE Agreement of 1958. These include: Japan, South Korea, Russia, Turkey, Australia and South Africa.
In March 2010, the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) adopted a new version of the UNECE Regulation 100, introducing universal safety standards through type approval requirements for all types of electric and hybrid vehicles. The European Commission’s proposed legislation will incorporate international standards into European law.
Vehicle manufacturers are committed to improving safety standards and recognise the specific safety implications of electric vehicles. The final details of the Plug-In Car Grant, announced in February, reflect this and set high standards for all eligible vehicles under the scheme. Participating manufacturers will have to meet these new European safety standards in order to qualify.