Driving discussions

Tangible IEC contributions help EVs move forward

By Gabriela Ehrlich

This has been an active and successful year for the IEC in the EV (Electric Vehicle) arena.

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Stimulating communication

The year started with a high-level strategic round table that was organized by the IEC jointly with e8, a global organization of 10 world-leading electricity companies, in January in Washington DC, US (United States). The event brought together major stakeholders – automotive manufacturers, electric equipment suppliers and utilities – who need to collaborate to accelerate the global roll-out of EVs. The objective was to stimulate communication amongst the different parties, identify needs and formulate expectations. Unlike traditional vehicles, EVs will depend on, and need to become part of, a huge energy system that involves low-emission electricity generation delivered through progressively smarter grids.

High-level representatives of major car manufacturers, including BMW, Ford, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Renault and Toyota, and equipment manufacturers such as Eaton, General Electric, Hubbell and Schneider, sat together with utilities such as AEP, Duke, EDF, Electrobras, Hydro Quebec, Kansai Electric Power, State Grid Corporation of China and TEPCO. These organizations were joined by EPRI (Electric Power Research Institute) as well as ISO (International Organization for Standardization). All participants underlined their preference for using IEC, ISO and ITU international standards. A second round table is planned towards the end of 2011.

EVs and the Smart Grid

In February, IEC Vice-President Enno Liess gave the opening speech at the 6th Fully Networked Car workshop organized by WSC (World Standards Cooperation) at the Geneva International Motor Show. He emphasized the importance of International Standards in building Smart Grids that are able to integrate renewable sources of energy and enable the mass charging of EVs to take place. Hans-Georg Frischkorn, Director for Technology and Environment, VDA (Verband der Automobilindustrie) echoed Liess’s statements, underlining that the successful roll-out of EVs is dependent on the modernization of electricity grid infrastructure and global standardization of connectors and plugs.

Supporting EV roll-out

In June, several IEC representatives participated in the e8 UN (United Nations) Global Summit on Strengthening Public-Private Partnerships to Accelerate Global Electricity Technology Deployment which took place at UN headquarters in New York. With regard to combating climate change and achieving the UN’s Millennium Development Goals, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon noted: "Addressing these challenges is beyond the reach of governments alone. It will take the active engagement of all sectors of society: the private sector, local communities, and civil society, international organizations, and the world of academia and research".

At the Summit, the IEC and the Global Sustainable Electricity Partnership (formerly e8) issued a joint statement, confirming their commitment to work with the automotive industry and international associations in creating the optimum conditions for the successful roll out of EVs and driving forward efforts to mitigate the effects of climate change.

Two EV charging and infrastructure IEC International Standards

With two globally relevant International Standards for EV charging and its infrastructure undergoing a final vote before their expected publication in mid-October, the IEC will have provided another milestone for the successful roll-out of EVs.

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