Antonio Tajani,
EC Vice-President
responsible for
Industry and
Entrepreneurship
 
Brussels, Belgium --- (METERING.COM) --- July 5, 2010 - The European standards organizations, CEN (European Committee for Standardization), CENELEC (European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization), and ETSI (European Telecommunications Standards Institute) have been given a mandate to develop a common charging system for electric cars, scooters and bicycles.

The mandate from the European Commission and the European Free Trade Association (EFTA), M/468, is aimed at developing a standard that will ensure that all types of electric vehicles and their batteries may be charged both safely and easily in all EU member states. In terms of the mandate plugs and connectors will use the same standard across Europe, independent of brands or countries.

The Commission expects that the standard will be ready by mid-2011.

“Electric cars are no longer some abstract concept and in the very near future these will be on our roads,” said Antonio Tajani, EC vice-president responsible for industry and entrepreneurship, in handing over the mandate. “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.”

In April the EC set out a strategy and roadmap to encourage the development and rollout of electric vehicles, including encouraging the installation of publicly accessible charging points and promoting the development of smart grids.

The mandate M/468 is a crucial part of this strategy and has three objectives: to ensure that electric vehicles can be safely charged by their drivers; to ensure that electric vehicle chargers interoperate with the electricity supply points and all types of electric vehicles; should consider smart charging issues to allow charging at off-peak times to get the lowest price and most efficient use of energy.

CEN and CENELEC have created a Joint Focus Group that will prepare an initial response to the mandate, by urgently assessing European needs and seeking to ensure that international standards meet these. The Focus Group hopes to complete its report by 31 March 2011.

The Intelligent Transport community within ETSI is discussing the mandate with the Car-To-Car Consortium (C2C CC) in order to investigate the work that may be required to answer the communications aspects in reply to the mandate.