UNECE Adopts Type Approval for Electric and Hybrid Vehicles’ Electric Safety Requirements; Applies in 41 Countries
The World Forum for Harmonization of Vehicle Regulations has adopted a new version of UNECE Regulation No. 100 which introduces type approval requirements for all types of electric and hybrid vehicles’ electric safety requirements. The new version of the regulation offers car manufacturers the legal instrument to put into the market passenger and commercial vehicles with greener standards, reducing the costs and delays associated with multiple approvals in various countries.
Type approval refers to the administrative procedure by which the competent authorities in one Contracting Party declare, after carrying out the required verifications and tests, that a vehicle submitted by the manufacturer conforms to the requirements of the given Regulation. Once this approval has been obtained, the vehicle will benefit from the mutual recognition of this approval in all Contracting Parties applying UNECE Regulation No. 100—currently 41 countries.
The new version of UNECE Regulation No. 100 will cover a large range of electric vehicles: pure electric, hybrid, plug-in, as well as hydrogen fuel cells vehicles as regards electric safety requirements. The Regulation encompasses the electric safety requirements of road vehicles of categories M and N, with a maximum design speed exceeding 25 km/h (16 mph), equipped with one or more traction motor(s) operated by electric power and not permanently connected to the grid, as well as their high voltage components and systems which are galvanically connected to the high voltage bus of the electric power train. One of the key requirements is that vehicles must provide users with an effective protection against electric shocks.
The list of Contracting Parties that apply UNECE Regulation No. 100 includes the 27 Member States of the European Union, the European Union itself, as well as Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Malaysia, Montenegro, Norway, Russian Federation, Serbia, Switzerland, The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Tunisia and Turkey. Several Asian countries, including Japan, are expected to apply the new version of Regulation No. 100.
The change in UNECE Regulation No. 100 reflects the growing interest of both manufacturers and customers for electric and hybrid vehicles, as evidenced at the Geneva motor show this year, according to the body.
Core elements of a type approval process include:
- Compliance of the vehicle manufacturer to all applicable technical requirements
- Testing by a certified technical service
- Approval by the national Approval Authority
- Conformity of production by the manufacturer in agreement with the Approval Authority
- Certificate of conformity issued by the manufacturer to the end-user
The World Forum is a subsidiary body of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), which develops vehicle regulations aimed at increasing vehicle safety and environmental performance. More than fifty countries, as well as vehicle manufacturers, consumers and road users, participate in the elaboration of these regulations, which are adopted by representatives of the countries under the so-called “1958 and 1998” Agreements.