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Brussels, 29 June 2010

Towards a European common charger for electric vehicles

The European Standardisation Organisations bodies (CEN-CENELEC and ETSI) will develop a common charging system for electric cars, scooters and bicycles. European Commission Vice-President Antonio Tajani has handed today a European Commission mandate for the development of the relevant standard to the President of CEN-CENELEC David Dossett, CEN-CENELEC´s Director General Elena Santiago Cid and ETSI General Assembly Chair John Philips. The new standard ensures that all types of electric vehicles and their batteries are charged both safely and easily in all EU Member States. Thanks to this mandate plugs and connectors will use the same standard all across Europe, providing a true European solution independently of brands or countries. The Commission expects that the standard will be ready by mid-2011.

Vice-President Antonio Tajani, in charge of Industry and Entrepreneurship said: "Electric cars are no longer some abstract concept. In the very near future these will be on our roads. To pave the way for their commercial success we cannot afford to have incompatible systems leading to a fragmented market in Europe. A common approach is therefore of importance both for European consumers and companies and will allow the EU to become a global leader in the sector.”

In its Communication of 29 April 2010 the European Commission established a roadmap for a coherent framework encouraging the market launch of electrically chargeable vehicles (see IP/10/473).

In this strategy, the mandate that the Commission addresses now to CENELEC, CEN and ETSI to develop a European common solution for the charging of electric vehicles is crucial. This mandate has three objectives:

  • to ensure that electric vehicles can be safely charged by their drivers.

  • to ensure that electric vehicle chargers (including their removable batteries) interoperate with the electricity supply points and all types of electric vehicles. This would allow users to recharge their electric vehicles anywhere in the EU by using the same charger.

  • the mandate requests the standardisation bodies to consider the so-called smart-charging issues. Smart-charging will allow users to charge vehicles at off-peak times to get the lowest price and most efficient use of energy.

The design of the European standard will take into account ongoing activities in international standardisation fora. The European Commission will continue to work closely with the standardisation bodies and industry to ensure the timely development of the standard.


European standards are developed by the European Standardisation organisations through voluntary cooperation among industry, consumers, public authorities and other interested parties for the development of technical specifications based on consensus. Standardisation tackles the interoperability of complementary products/services, requirements for safety, health or environmental performance.

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