Brussels, Belgium – Charging an electric vehicle (EV) will be easier thanks to a set of recommendations on standardization by European automakers.

The European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) has submitted a proposal that will enable the use of a single type of plug, regardless of the automaker, electricity provider, or the country where it is used.

“This is a major step towards the broader introduction of electrically-chargeable vehicles in Europe and paves the way for a harmonized solution around the globe,” said Ivan Hodac, secretary general of ACEA. “We call on the European Commission, the standardization bodies and the infrastructure providers to adopt these recommendations and to clear remaining issues as soon as possible.”

The ACEA said that standardization of the connection between the electricity grid and electric vehicles is one of the prerequisites to electric mobility gaining a viable market share. At present, a variety of solutions is used, leading to fragmentation of the market across Europe and abroad.

The industry recommendations cover the entire link between the charging infrastructure and the vehicle, including communication between the two, and address both slow and fast charging with direct or alternate current. Vehicle manufacturers will start integrating the uniform application in their production cycles as soon as the recommendations are approved by the relevant standardization bodies. The auto industry advocates full implementation for new vehicles starting in 2017.

“Standardization provides predictability to investors,” Hodac said. “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.”

Most stakeholders assume that the market share for electric vehicles will realistically be in the range of 3 to 10 per cent of new sales by 2020 to 2025, depending on how quickly the most immediate challenges can be addressed.

The members of ACEA are the BMW Group, DAF Trucks, Daimler, Fiat, Ford of Europe, General Motors Europe, Jaguar Land Rover, MAN Truck & Bus, Porsche, Peugeot Citroën, Renault Group, Scania, Toyota Motor Europe, Volkswagen Group and Volvo.

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