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by Tim Beissmann

The European Union has taken another step towards electric vehicle standardisation this week, with its Commission signing off on a basic design for the appearance and operation of the plug and socket system.

The Commission signed the deal with the European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization and the European Telecommunications Standards Institute which.

The agreement will see the groups work together on a standardised charging system for the 27 countries within the next 12 months, and emphasised that the final design must be compatible with all electric vehicles, as well as being as safe and energy-efficient as possible.

European Commission vice president, Antonio Tajani, said the deal was a crucial step in the development of EV infrastructure and technology.

“This signing is very important for the future of green cars,” Mr Tajani said, as reported by Reuters. “Our work in favour of new models is impossible without standardisation and infrastructure.”

A J.D. Power report from June estimated that global sales of pure electric vehicles in 2010 would reach 23,000 and rise to 500,000 by 2015, with a number of mainstream brands rolling out EVs beginning in the second half of this year.

The agreement follows last week’s announcement from the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association that it had settled on specifications for overnight charging systems.




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