Motor vehicles

Dependent on electric and electronic components

Public attention is turning increasingly to the introduction of EVs (electric vehicles) of all kinds. Where motor vehicles were originally almost entirely mechanical, they are now complex systems wholly dependent on thousands of electric and electronic components for safe and reliable operation, a fact frequently overlooked.

The share of these in the total value of a car is expected to reach nearly 50% by 2015 and 65% by 2035.
The “ISO/IEC Agreement concerning standardization of electrotechnology for road vehicles between ISO/TC22 "Road Vehicles" and the IEC technical committees" was signed in 2011 to stay in front of this trend.

Click here to read the agreement

electric components car

Who is involved?

Road vehicle standardization relies on a number of international, regional and national regulations and directives. The main requirement is that cars should comply with the UNECE (UN Economic Commission for Europe) rules as defined by its World Forum for Harmonization of Vehicle Regulations (UNECE WP.29). Most countries recognize the UNECE regulations and apply them in their own national requirements. Many of those relate to equipment that depends on electrical and electronic systems.

More than three dozen IEC TCs and SCs (Subcommittees) cover the standardization of equipment used in and related to road vehicles as well as of other associated issues. These include:

Low-voltage switchgear and controlgear

Low-voltage switchgear and controlgear assemblies

Electric cables

Secondary cells and batteries

Adjustable speed electric drive systems incorporating semiconductor power converters

Circuit breakers and similar equipment for household use

Appliance couplers

Low voltage fuses and IEC/SC 32C: miniature fuses

Lamps and related equipment

Integrated circuits

ISO/TC 22, Road vehicles

ISO/TC 22 deals with standardization concerning compatibility, interchangeability and safety, with particular reference to terminology and test procedures for evaluating the performance of road vehicles and their equipment, systems and subassemblies. All the technical domains of the vehicle construction are taken into account in one of the dozens of active subcommittees and working groups of ISO/TC 22. The structure of ISO/TC 22 is similar to the structures of UNECE WP.29 with active and passive safety, environment protection and other areas such as electronics and human machine interfaces.


ISO/TC 31, Tyres, rims, and valves

ISO/TC 31 deals with standardization concerning classification, size designation, dimensions, and ratings of tyres, rims and valves. All the technical domains of this subject area are covered in eight subcommittees.


How is regulatory cooperation in these fields achieved?

With nearly 800 published Standards, ISO/TC 22 has addressed a large number of industry needs, with particular attention to harmonizing test methods, measuring methods, terminology and interchangeability requirements. From the outset, ISO/TC 22 has been represented in the meetings of WP.29. Both organizations try to avoid any duplication of work. Some demands have been made by WP.29 to ISO in the field of road vehicles, and ISO/TC 22 has answered positively by producing some of the numerous ISO Standards to which the ECE regulations refer. Similarly, ISO/TC31 has developed more than 75 Standards in tandem with UN regulations, including test methods, noise, and rolling resistance measurement, among others. In addition, experts from industry attend both ISO committee meetings as well as the WP.29 meetings.

Electric vehicles

In addition to the above-mentioned, other IEC TCs and SCs are involved in developing Standards that apply specifically to the fast-growing EV sector. Electric vehicles are not limited to personal and urban transport alone, but extend more and more to other sectors. Commercial and industrial EVs make up 60% of the value of the overall EV market.

Electric road vehicles and electric industrial trucks

Plugs, Socket-outlets and Couplers for industrial and similar applications, and for Electric Vehicles

Low-voltage surge protecting devices

(surge protection of electronic devices will be a very important consideration for plug-in EVs)

Electromagnetic compatibility

(Prepares with its SCs the IEC 61000 series of standards, technical specifications and technical reports in the field of electromagnetic compatibility (EMC). Some of these documents are normative references for several IEC/TC 69 Standards.)

Also, ISO directly participates in IEC Strategic Group 6 “Electrotechnology for mobility” which addresses the interaction between plug-in electric vehicles and the electricity supply infrastructure. Electric vehicles use high-voltage electrical systems so aspects related to safety and environment are extremely important, in addition to operational, communication and energy issues. As a result this industry is likely to be highly regulated and public policy makers as well as regulatory authorities are strongly encouraged to follow and participate in IEC and ISO work in this field.

More examples by industry sector

Navigation and communications

Measuring efficiency

Rapidly evolving and highly regulated

Measuring energy performance

Dependent on electric and electronic components

Cutting across many different industry sectors

Protection from interference

Electrical equipment and systems for railways

Safety, security and the environment

Power consumption tests

Test procedures