September 22, 2011 / 5:07 PM / 8 years ago

Europe's car makers propose electric car standards

FRANKFURT, Sept 22 (Reuters) - Europe’s automakers proposed a joint set of recommendations to standardise the charging of electric vehicles, enabling the use of one type of plug regardless of car make, electricity provider or country.

The proposal could be crucial in ensuring zero-emission electric cars such as the Nissan Leaf or Mitsubishi i-MiEV gain between 3-10 percent of new vehicle sales by 2020 to 2025, the European auto industry association ACEA said on Thursday.

“This is a major step towards the broader introduction of electrically-chargeable vehicles in Europe and paves the way for a harmonised solution around the globe,” said Ivan Hodac, Secretary General of the ACEA, in a statement.

“We call on the European Commission, the standardisation bodies and the infrastructure providers to adopt these recommendations and to clear remaining issues as soon as possible.”

The market across Europe and abroad is fragmented by a variety of solutions.

The European auto industry’s recommendations cover the whole link between the public charging infrastructure and the vehicle inlet, including communication between the two, and address slow and fast-charging with direct or alternate current, ACEA said.

Car makers will begin applying them uniformly in each new vehicle cycle as soon as approved by relevant standardisation bodies, but don’t expect full implementation for all new vehicles types until 2017.

“Standardisation provides predictability to investors; it enables economy of scale and reduces costs. We have also ensured a solution that meets the highest safety standards and is easy to use,” said Hodac. (Reporting by Christiaan Hetzner; Editing by Helen Massy-Beresford)

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