Electrical Business


IEC and e8 take a step towards global electric vehicle roll-out

February 7, 2011 | By Anthony Capkun

February 07, 2011

The IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission) and e8—a global organization of 10 electricity companies—say they have, for the first time, brought together all major stakeholders that need to collaborate to accelerate the global roll-out of EVs (electric vehicles). At this international roundtable that took place on January 19, 2011, in Washington, D.C., all participants confirmed that the IEC’s existing and proposed international standards for EV charging satisfy their global needs.

IEC says that, until this meeting, little communication took place at an international level between automotive manufacturers, electric equipment suppliers and utilities to coordinate work around EVs. For the first time, the IEC—in cooperation with e8—has provided them with a global platform to discuss mutual needs and requirements.

The objective of the roundtable was to determine priorities for the development of EV-related standards, to define future needs, and to accelerate the broad adoption of the relevant international standards that will enable global interoperability and connectivity.


While all parties work intensely on developing technologies that will enable a more energy-efficient future, utilities are simply expected to deliver the fuel that will drive those electric cars. However, without significant investment into infrastructure, a broad EV roll-out will remain fiction.

“To make mass charging possible, global solutions are needed. Charging systems must be user-friendly, largely the same, and safe and easy to operate and use,” said Frank Kitzantides, former IEC vice-president who chaired the roundtable as IEC senior technology consultant. “To achieve this, all stakeholders need to cooperate to better understand each other’s role.”

To ensure sufficient energy supply and to develop the necessary charging infrastructures, future e-mobility developments must be considered and, to achieve this, all stakeholders need to be involved. IEC went on to say standardization must be quick and international to achieve global technology roll-out and durable infrastructure development, without market fragmentation due to incompatible charging systems.

In Washington, the IEC offered a platform for 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) to sit together with utilities such as AEP, Duke, EDF, Electrobras, Hydro Quebec, Kansai Electric Power, State Grid Corp. of China and TEPCO. These organizations were joined by industry association SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) and EPRI (Electric Power Research Institute) as well as ISO (International Organization for Standardization).

All stakeholders confirmed that the IEC’s existing and proposed International Standards for EV charging (on the charger side: plug, socket and cord; on the vehicle side: connector and inlet) satisfy their global needs. Four charging modes have been retained, covering AC and DC charging. All participants underlined their preference for using IEC, ISO and ITU (International Telecommunication Union) international standards.

Finally, all parties underlined the importance and usefulness of this new joint platform initiated by the IEC and e8. Follow-up meetings are already being planned.

Powering EVs (IEC work)

• TC 69 Electric road vehicles and electric industrial trucks has developed – among others – the IEC 61851-1 conductive charging standard. This standard foresees four modes for the charging of EVs:
– Mode 1 (AC) – slow charging from a standard household-type socket-outlet
– Mode 2 (AC) – slow charging from a standard household-type socket-outlet with an in-cable protection device
– Mode 3 (AC) – slow or fast charging using a specific EV socket-outlet and plug with control and protection function permanently installed
– Mode 4 (DC) – fast charging using an external charger

• SC 23H Industrial plugs and socket-outlets published IEC 62196-1 covering general requirements for EV connectors and is currently close to finalizing IEC 62196-2, which standardizes the following elements needed for AC charging:
– Type 1 – single phase vehicle coupler (vehicle connector and inlet), for example Yazaki or SAE J1772 (Japan, North America)
– Type 2 – single and three phase vehicle coupler and mains plug and socket-outlet without shutters, for example VDE-AR-E 2623-2-2
– Type 3 – single and three phase vehicle coupler and mains plug and socket-outlet with shutters, for example SCAME plug developed by the EV Plug Alliance.

• SC 23H is also developing IEC 62196-3 (DC) on requirements for the vehicle coupler. The work is still at an early stage and several proposals are on the table, including the DC quick charging CHAdeMO coupler as well as the possibility to use the same vehicle inlet both for DC and AC charging.

CLICK HERE for International Electrotechnical Commission.

CLICK HERE for e8.

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