Brussels, 15 June 2010
Car type-approvals and electrical vehicle safety
The European Commission proposed today to ensure that electric cars placed on the European market are safe and that consumers are protected against direct contacts with parts of the car under voltage. These measures will speed up the introduction of safe electric cars on European roads which have strong potential for reducing CO2 emissions. The Commission also proposed today to drastically reduce European legislation on car type approval by ending the duality between EC Directives and UNECE Regulations.
Vice-President Antonio Tajani, responsible for Industry and Entrepreneurship said: "Electrical vehicles are one of the most promising technologies for greener transport. Knowing that these will be generally available to consumers in the very near future we need to ensure that they are safe to use. These proposals aim at doing just that. Meanwhile I am pleased that we are reducing red-tape by eliminating what in reality is a double-burden for industry when it comes to car type approval.”
Making electric cars safe
Electric power trains operate at high voltage levels (500 Volts). The aim of the European Commission’s proposal published today is to ensure that all electric vehicles marketed in Europe are constructed according to a common safety standard and thereby protecting vehicle users from getting into contact with high voltage parts of the vehicle.
This proposal incorporates into European law Regulation No. 100 of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe ((UNECE)) on the approval of battery electric vehicles and their construction and safety requirements. The proposal will now be transmitted to the Member States.
Harmonised test requirements on electric safety will simplify the approval of electric vehicles as it will replace divergent approval practices of some EU Member States and hence, result in reducing the administrative burden for manufacturers.
The proposal will also help European car manufacturer to sell their electric cars in third countries, which are contracting parties to the UNECE Agreement of 1958 (such as Ja pan).
Proposal to cut double legislation on the automotive sector
The European Commission proposal to drastically simplify and reduce European legislation will incorporate directly into European law 61 different Regulations of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) for the type-approval of vehicles. It will end the duality between EC Directives and UNECE Regulations. The proposal will now be transmitted to the Member States for approval.
Hence, type-approval issued under the UNECE Regulations will be considered as EC type-approval. Duplication not only in technical requirements but also in certification and administrative procedures will be avoided to the benefit of both industry and national authorities.
In addition, this proposal will also improve market access for European car manufacturers in those third countries which are contracting parties to the UNECE Agreement of 1958 and thus boost the competitiveness of European industry.
Under the EC whole vehicle type-approval system, cars manufacturers can obtain approval for a vehicle type in one Member State if it meets the EU technical requirements and then market it EU-wide with no need for further tests.
More information on the Commissions’ automotive policy