IEC welcomes MEPs’ support for its universal mobile charger standard

International Standards and Conformity Assessment for all electrical, electronic and related technologies

News release – 2014 Number 10

New IEC Standards bring mass EV adoption a step closer


Geneva, CH, 2014-04-07IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission), the international standards and conformity assessment body for all fields of electrotechnology, today announced that it has published an International Standard for EV (electronic vehicle) d.c. (direct current) fast charging. This marks a major milestone on the road to creating a global framework for introducing safe, interoperable solutions for the fast charging of EVs.


The new International Standard is published in two parts: IEC 61851-23 and 61851-24. IEC 61851-23 covers d.c. charging in relation to the control and communication connection between the d.c. fast charging installation and the EV. IEC 62851-24 details the digital protocols that enable the communication exchange between the off-board d.c. fast charging station and the EV.


This breakthrough International Standard was the product of almost unprecedented global collaboration between OEMs (original equipment manufacturers), automotive firms and electricity utilities.


Their collective achievement overcame some significant hurdles. Car and truck manufacturers, for instance, had to consider varied technical requirements in different regions, which demand the use of a diverse range of plugs, connectors, voltage levels and frequencies.


Addressing such global challenges, IEC International Standard for EV d.c. fast charging systems comprises the three preferred systems and their associated plugs and connectors: CATARC, COMBO1 and 2, and CHAdeMO.


IEC General Secretary and CEO Frans Vreeswijk commented, “We applaud the intense collaboration of several industrial sectors in diverse global markets that produced this consensus. There is now a globally relevant International Standard that comprises just three interoperable and safe systems, as opposed to multiple proprietary charging technologies. Hence, the IEC is more confident than ever that a vast and efficient EV d.c. fast charging infrastructure will be able to emerge.”


One off-board EV d.c. charger can service many EVs and, on average, power their batteries 8 times faster than on-board solutions. Consumers will be able to recharge batteries faster and travel longer distances.


The average EV requires 16 kWh of electricity to drive 100 km. The standard 50 kW off-board EV d.c. charging system delivers that power in just 20 minutes. In contrast, today’s on-board EV chargers normally handle no more than 6.2 kW, which provides just 40 km worth of driving potential for every hour spent charging the battery.


The firms involved in developing this International Standard included:
For utilities: EDF (Electricity of France), State Grid Corporation (China) and TEPCO (Tokyo Electric Power Company);
For equipment manufacturers:  ABB, Siemens, CHAdeMo Association and Park & Charge;
For the automotive sector: NISSAN, Mitsubishi, Toyota, JARI, CATARC, BMW, Daimler, Volkswagen, GM and Ford.


With this d.c. charging standard, the IEC now have standardized the work for all forms of charging, and it is also progressing on wireless power transfer for EVs.

More about IEC work on Electric Vehicles

IEC TC 69: Electric road vehicles and electric industrial trucks published in 2010 the International Standard IEC 61851-1 ed2.0 on conductive charging which 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

IEC SC 23H: Industrial plugs and socket-outlets published IEC 62196-1 covering general requirements for EV connectors and IEC 62196-2, which standardizes the following AC charging elements:

  • 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 (d.c.) on requirements for the vehicle coupler and IEC TS (Technical specification) 62196-4 Dimensional compatibility and interchangeability requirements for a.c., d.c. and a.c./ d.c. vehicle couplers for Class II or Class III light electric vehicles (LEVs).

The IEC has two project teams which work on standardization of wireless power transfer for EV charging –TC 69 PT 61980-2  and PT 61980-3.