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IEC, e8 unify charging standards to speed global EV rollout

Posted: 08 Feb 2011 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:electric vehicles? EV charging systems? International Standards for EV charging?

The International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) and e8, a consortium of 10 of the world's largest electricity companies, recently gathered key stakeholders keen on fast-tracking the global launch of electric vehicles (EVs). Held on January 19 in Washington DC, the roundtable discussion was viewed by many as a giant leap forward for the global EV campaign.

The stakes in EVs are high and growing. The car industry considers EVs a viable and sustainable means of individual transportation. Governments are increasingly pushing for electrified transportation to reduce CO2 emissions, and ultimately, fight climate change. While all parties diligently work on developing technologies that will ensure a more energy-efficient future, utility companies are simply expected to deliver the "fuel" that will power EVs. However, without significant investment in infrastructure, a broad EV roll-out will remain a dream.

To ensure worldwide technology roll-out and infrastructure development, timely and global standardization must be achieved, and market fragmentation due to incompatible charging systems eliminated. In Washington, the IEC offered a platform for high-level representatives of major car manufacturers, including BMW, Ford, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Renault and Toyota, and equipment manufacturers such as Eaton, General Electric, Hubbell and Schneider to sit together with utilities such as AEP, Duke, EDF, Electrobras, Hydro Quebec, Kansai Electric Power, State Grid Corporation of China and TEPCO.

Industry associations SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) and EPRI (Electric Power Research Institute) as well as ISO (International Organization for Standardization) joined the roundtable discussion.

All stakeholders confirmed that the IEC's existing and proposed International Standards for EV charging (on the charger side: plug, socket and cord; on the vehicle side: connector and inlet) satisfy their global needs. Four charging modes have been retained, covering AC and DC charging.

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