Gearing up for global EV roll-out

The International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) and e8, a global organisation of 10 electricity companies, met to discuss the global roll-out of electric vehicles (EV) in January.

At the high-level international round table that took place in Washington DC, US, participants confirmed that the IEC’s existing and proposed international standards for EV charging satisfy their global needs.

“Until now, little communication took place at an international level between automotive manufacturers, electric equipment suppliers and utilities to co-ordinate work around EVs. For the very first time, the IEC, in co-operation with e8, has provided them with a global platform to discuss mutual needs and requirements,” IEC head of communications, Gabriela Ehrlich said.

“The objective of the round-table was to determine priorities for the development of EV-related standards, to define future needs, and to accelerate the broad adoption of the relevant international standards that will enable global interoperability and connectivity.

“The stakes in EVs are high and growing. The car industry considers EVs as one of the key solutions for maintaining sustainable individual transportation. Governments increasingly push for electrified transportation to reduce CO2 emissions as one of the tools to fight climate change.

“Today, only approximately 1 per cent of electricity produced is used in transportation, while this sector contributes to roughly 20 per cent of CO2 emissions,” he said.

Former IEC vice-president and round-table chair, Frank Kitzantides said global solutions are needed to make mass charging possible.

“Charging systems must be user-friendly, largely the same, and safe and easy to operate and use. To achieve this, all stakeholders need to co-operate to better understand each other’s role,” Mr Kitzantides said.

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. They were joined by industry association Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) and Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) as well as International Organization for Standardization (ISO).

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, the IEC said. Four charging modes have been retained, covering AC and DC charging. Participants underlined their preference for using IEC, ISO and ITU (International Telecommunication Union) international standards.