European automobile manufacturers propose common standards for electric vehicle charging

22 September 2011 #SMMT News

The standardisation of electric vehicle (EV) charging has taken a step closer to reality as ACEA – the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association – announces proposals to encourage the use of one type of plug that could be used regardless of car make, electricity provider or country.

Standardisation of charging method is seen as a necessary step in facilitating greater take-up of EVs by both individuals and businesses. There is currently a range of plugs in use by various manufacturers, meaning that charging infrastructure choices can be complex.

“This is a major step towards the broader introduction of electrically-chargeable vehicles in Europe and paves the way for a harmonised solution around the globe,” said Ivan Hodac, Secretary General of ACEA. “We call on the European Commission, the standardisation bodies and the infrastructure providers to adopt these recommendations and to clear remaining issues as soon as possible.”

The comprehensive set of recommendations cover all aspects of EV charging, including the method of communication between the vehicle and the power grid, type of electricity supply, and the differences between fast and slow charging systems. Once the standards are approved, manufacturers can begin implementing the changes to their own product cycles. ACEA advocates that the standards should be integral for all new vehicles types from 2017.

“Standardisation provides predictability to investors; it enables economy of scale and reduces costs,” added Hodac. “We have also ensured a solution that meets the highest safety standards and is easy to use.”

ACEA indicates that most stakeholders assume a realistic market share for electrically-chargeable vehicles in the range of 3 to 10% of new sales by 2020 to 2025, depending on how quickly the most immediate challenges can be addressed.

SMMT has published the Electric Car Guide to help motorists make more informed decisions when purchasing an EV. Presented in an easy to understand Q&A-style format, the free publication addresses some of the common queries relating to electric vehicles including information about batteries, charging, vehicle performance, on-the-road costs, government incentives and safety.

Click through to download the SMMT Electric Car Guide.

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