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New EU/US lab for interoperability of e-vehicles and smart grids

Following the Transatlantic Economic Council’s decision to promote electric vehicles and smart grid interoperability, on 29 October the European Commission inaugurated the European Interoperability Centre, a laboratory operated by the JRC.

Together with its partner facility in the US Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory, the new lab will ensure that the next generation of electric cars and smart grids are fully interoperable, based on harmonized standards, technology validation and testing methods. This is an important step towards creating “a single language” for all components.

Smart grids and electric vehicles are rapidly evolving, but we have not yet harnessed their full potential. Developing harmonised standards across the Atlantic will minimise trade barriers and increase the global market for innovative products and services for the EU and US producers and consumers.

—Maroš Šefčovič, Vice-President of the European Commission, responsible for the Energy Union

Interoperability within and between electric vehicles and the smart grid is a key issue for the deployment and full exploitation of transport electrification, the integration of renewable energy sources and storage, and the deployment of innovative energy-related services to consumers/prosumers.

It will allow for effective communication and functioning of any plug-in vehicles with recharging devices and the effective functioning of the smart grid architecture. It should also enable further features such as automatic billing, electric vehicles roaming and a more efficient energy management. Both the EU and the US have a shared interest in the rapid development of cost-efficient solutions in order to achieve cleaner, smarter and integrated transport and energy systems.

The European Interoperability Centre consists of four laboratories focused on the energy efficiency of electric and hybrid vehicles; the interoperability of smart grids; the electromagnetic compatibility; and battery testing.

The center will allow for testing system architectures, technologies and communication protocols. The resulting harmonized industrial standards and test procedures should minimize trade and technical barriers. This in turn will create enhanced incentives for companies to invest in innovation that can be commercialized in bigger markets.

The twin facility, the US Smart Grid Interoperability Centre, located at the Argonne National Laboratory, is already operational and will work with its European partner to ensure that future electric vehicles and charging stations work together seamlessly.



Hope that smart wireless quick charging standards are included. BEV users should not have to handle dirty rigid cables and connectors, specially on very cold snowy days. Ideally, smart BEVs should automatically dock themselves in the proper place.


It is very important to get this right.
Ideally, you could get cars to charge when there is most excess electricity, either solar at midday, wind at any time or night time unwanted power.
You want to be able to say: get me at least X % power by 7am tomorrow morning and leave it at that.
If you are planning a long run tomorrow, X might be 100%, if a normal commute, it might be 60%.
This is especially important if you have a "2 day" car - that is, a car that can hold enough power for 2 normal day's use.
(say 30 KwH or more).
You might be able to do V2G, but I do not think this is necessary - just making sure you charge at the right time would be a huge boon.


It's interesting to watch the call for standards and the results; so far this hasn't been the case. For example; We have no less than four connectors for quick chargers, CHAdeMO, Tesla, CCS and a forthcoming Chinese connector. Good luck!


We make our own luck,

Engineering is so much easier when the goal posts aren't all over the shop.

Agreeing on simplified set of standards so people can get on with it is a prerequisite in an ideal world.

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