American and European Standards organizations agree to strengthen transatlantic cooperation on standards for electric vehicles
6 December 2012
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 28-29 November.
The event brought together technical experts from industry, government, and other stakeholders 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). (Earlier post.)
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).
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.
In order 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.
The discussions in Brussels last week concentrated on four key areas:
Coupler safety and interoperability, fast charging. Many relevant international standards are already in place or in progress; industry is working to make ISO and IEC standards address the different charging scenarios as comprehensively as possible, for example 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, the group said.
Vehicle-to-grid communications. 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 standardizers 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.
The decision to organize the Transatlantic eMobility Standardization Roundtable was prompted by the eMobility work plan put forward by the Transatlantic Economic Council (TEC) in November 2011, and following comments made by European trade commissioner Karel De Gucht and US deputy national security advisor for international economic affairs Michael Froman at an October 2011 ANSI-ESO conference on transatlantic partnerships that can promote economic growth.
In response to a request from Froman to identify the standardization priorities for 2013 and how government can help, participants agreed that the priority areas discussed at the meeting will continue to be the focus of attention next year. In addition to supporting a call from Froman for regulatory harmonization to support standardization, participants were also supportive of a proposal he made to leverage the work of the EV-Smart Grid Interoperability Center at the US Department of Energy (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory and the EU’s Joint Research Centre (JRC), established as part of the TEC work plan. These two facilities are expected to play a leading role in sharing research data and testing methodologies to support EV standardization.
Both Froman and Phillipe Jean, head of unit, sustainable mobility and automotive industry, in the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Enterprise and Industry, urged support for two informal working groups on EV safety and the environment that the U.S. and Europe led in creating within the World Forum for the Harmonization of Vehicle Regulations (WP.29 of UN-ECE). This body works to develop global technical regulations for the industry.
Jean reported that the Commission has adopted a CARS 2020 European strategy paper for the automotive industry and will propose a legislative measure in 2013 for the EV recharging plug if industry is not able to agree which standardized option should be applied for plug and socket outlets for dedicated charging stations. He also reported that the Commission had recently developed new type approval tests to address EV battery safety issues.
Andrew McCall, executive director of governmental affairs for Ford of Europe, and a member of the TransAtlantic Business Dialogue (TABD), also called for regulatory harmonization and standardization to help companies reduce operating costs and create opportunities for the EV market to thrive. He applauded the progress that has been made via the TEC process, where Ford, Audi, and the TABD had worked with other industry players and public authorities on both sides of the Atlantic to produce the eMobility work plan. He called upon the governments to endorse the industry agreement on the combo coupler to facilitate the development of the EV charging infrastructure.
CENELEC president David Dossett and ANSI president and CEO S. Joe Bhatia co-chaired the roundtable.
CEN (European Committee for Standardization) and CENELEC (European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization) are officially recognized organizations responsible for developing and defining standards at European level. These standards set out specifications and procedures in relation to a wide range of products and services, thereby facilitating commerce and industry throughout the European Single Market.
The members of CEN and CENELEC are the National Standards Bodies and National Electrotechnical Committees of 33 European countries including all of the EU member states plus three EFTA countries (Iceland, Norway and Switzerland) and three EU candidate countries (Croatia, Turkey, and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia).
European Standards (ENs) are developed through a process of collaboration among experts nominated by business and industry, research institutes, consumer and environmental organizations and other societal stakeholders. These standards are accepted and recognized throughout all of the countries covered by CEN and CENELEC members.
A CEN-CENELEC Co-ordination Group on eMobility is overseeing the implementation of the recommendations of the Focus Group report to support coordination of standardization activities during the critical phase of writing new standards and updating existing ones.
The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) is a private non-profit organization whose mission is to enhance US global competitiveness and the American quality of life by promoting, facilitating, and safeguarding the integrity of the voluntary standardization and conformity assessment system. Its membership comprises businesses, professional societies and trade associations, standards developers, government agencies, and consumer and labor organizations.
The ANSI Electric Vehicles Standards Panel (EVSP) is a cross-sector coordinating body whose objective is to foster coordination and collaboration on standardization matters among public and private sector stakeholders to enable the safe, mass deployment of electric vehicles and associated infrastructure in the United States with international coordination, adaptability, and engagement.
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