Agreement made to strengthen American, European EV standards

Groups from the United States and Europe met in Brussels to discuss standardization priorities for electric vehicles (EVs) and agreed to continue working to align standards in both regions as well as worldwide. Goal is to prevent the proliferation of conflicting standards.


Cooperation on eMobility standardization was the focus of discussion during a Transatlantic Roundtable organized by the European Committee for Standardization (CEN), the European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization (CENELEC), and the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), which took place in Brussels on Nov. 28-29.

This event brought together technical experts from industry, government, and other stakeholders from both sides of the Atlantic to compare and discuss standardization priorities for electric vehicles (EVs) outlined in the October 2011 Report of the CEN- CENELEC Focus Group on European Electro-Mobility and the April 2012 Standardization Roadmap for Electric Vehicles - Version 1.0, developed by the ANSI Electric Vehicles Standards Panel (EVSP). Information was shared on cooperative efforts already underway among organizations involved in electric vehicle standardization such as the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), SAE International, and Underwriters Laboratories Inc. (UL).

The discussions in Brussels concentrated on four key areas:

  • Coupler safety and interoperability, fast charging. Many relevant international standards are already in place or in progress. Dialogue between the different standards organizations is improving, and industry is working to make ISO and IEC standards address the different charging scenarios as comprehensively as possible, for instance through incorporating the SAE J1772 combo coupler. There will always be some slight differences in coupler configurations as a result of specific regional electric grid requirements.
  • Vehicle-to-grid communications – integrating the electric vehicle with its infrastructure. There is a need for common standards for communication between the vehicle and the grid, and to address roaming of electric vehicles and smart charging. Harmonization of the communication protocols is already taking place between IEC and SAE but further work is needed. Efforts are also underway to address various interoperability issues when an EV is roaming between charging networks and to address communication of electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) metering data. As smart grid technologies continue to evolve, communications interoperability will require intensified collaboration among relevant actors, including automakers, charging network and utility providers, and standards bodies.
  • Wireless charging. Early cooperation among those creating standards is taking place, including at the international level, and will help to avoid future compatibility issues. Safety aspects and seamless charging are challenges that standardization must address.
  • Safety of electric vehicle infrastructure and batteries. Much standards work has been undertaken to ensure the safety of lithium-ion batteries and EVSE. Additional investigation into safe storage, transport, and interoperability aspects of EV batteries is needed, for example to support the battery exchange infrastructure market, and extensive work is still needed on testing in line with standards.

Participants acknowledged that a number of organizations produce globally relevant standards following open, transparent, and consensus-based processes. While one global standard is always the preferred objective, intellectual property, copyright, and commercial issues sometimes result in more than one standards organization working on the same or similar issues. Regulatory and/or infrastructure differences between regions can also result in variations. To prevent the proliferation of conflicting standards, the meeting participants agreed to continue their cooperation on promoting and enabling the harmonization and alignment of standards in this area. Participants also recognized that governments, including the European Commission and other inter-governmental bodies, must play their part by working towards the increased harmonization of relevant laws and regulations.

American National Standards Institute (ANSI) 

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