Euractiv reports that French and Italian groups have misgivings over the German design of a plug for electric vehicles proposed as a common European standard. The tussle highlights “industrial jealousy”, the report says, as the EV sector attempts to go mainstream.
In 2009, Antonio Tajani, then commissioner for transport, asked the EU standardization bodies to provide the first common standards for charging electrical cars and for the smart grids by this summer.
The EU’s “focus group on electro-mobility” was set to adopt a standard type of plug for recharging European manufactured electric cars by 31 March, but an argument between rival designs scuppered agreement. Sources close to the group told EurActiv that the French and Italians had expressed misgivings over the German design of plug.
The German plug was expected to be adopted as standard, but the French and Italians blocked it because it lacked safety “shutters”, used in some countries to protect children from accidental shocks from domestic plugs. At stake for the winning design is not simply the manufacture of the plug itself, but also a perception that the winning jurisdiction will have home advantage with regard to standards for electric cars.
A commentator close to the focus group, who preferred not to be named, said: “It [the dispute] is very regrettable and it is clear that industrial interests are at stake.”