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

Information – 2011 Number 09

IEC invited to world leading electric utilities and UN-Energy summit

Crucial role of International Standards for mass implementation of electric vehicles


Geneva, Switzerland, 2011-06-06 – The IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission), represented by Immediate Past President Jacques Régis and Senior technology consultant Frank Kitzantides, attended the e8 UN-Energy summit held in New York on 2 June. The crucial role of electric utilities in the development and deployment of EV technology calls for closer collaboration between the public and private sectors. As the expert in the international standardization of electrotechnology, the IEC feels responsible for coordinating those efforts.


At the summit e8, the group of world leading electric utilities, announced their new name: Global Sustainable Electricity Partnership.


Participants in the EV side event

Chairmen, representatives and guests at the
Electric Vehicle side event, 1 June 2011.
From left: Thomas Kuhn (Edison Electric
Institute), Michael Morris (AEP, US), Francisco
Acosta (CFE, MX), Thierry Vandal
(Hydro-Québec, CA), Liu Zhenya (SGCC, CN),
Paolo Andrea Colombo (Enel, IT), Assaad Saab
(EDF, FR), Shosuke Mori (Kansai, JP),
Evgeni Dod (RusHydro - RU), Frank Kitzantides
(IEC), James E. Rogers (Duke Energy, US),
José Antonio Muniz Lopes (Electrobras - BR),
Jacques Régis (IEC), Wendy Poulton (Eskom,
ZA) (RWE - DE). Cars from left: 1918 Detroit
Electric Car, Nissan Leaf, Mitsubishi i-Car,
Coda Sedan and Tesla Roadster.
Credits: American Electric Power, 2011

What’s an Electric Vehicle without electricity?

As the fuel providers, electric utilities will play a fundamental role in the mass implementation of EVs (electric vehicles) and the compatibility of the vehicles with the grid will be essential. Recognizing the IEC as the home for electrotechnology, the group of world leading electric utilities known as the Global Sustainable Electricity Partnership (formerly e8) formed a partnership with the IEC in 2010 to accelerate the development of standards for EVs. With its long-established processes the IEC ensures that the right people from both the private and public sectors are involved at the right time, which means that decisions are taken more quickly and more efficiently.


In the EV statement issued at the summit, the Global Sustainable Electricity Partnership underlined the importance of the utilities for EV deployment: The e8 members are essential in worldwide mobility electrification and as such, we are ready and committed to delivering greener electricity required to integrate the arrival of EVs into our systems while ensuring a safe and reliable grid for all electricity customers.


The development of EVs calls for new forms of collaboration between the electric utilities and automotive industries. When charging, the vehicle will be connected to the grid - this will not only have a huge impact on the electric grid infrastructure but will also raise new safety issues. As with every new technology, there are risks involved and advance investments in areas such as the electrical charging infrastructure will be necessary. In the EV statement issued at the summit the Global Sustainable Electricity Partnership underlined the importance of collaboration: Strong public-private partnerships play a critical role in the implementation of EVs. Collaboration between all parties can help in the establishment of adequate energy policies and long term stable policy frameworks that can encourage investment in EVs and accelerate their implementation.


Ensuring the safety, efficiency and environmental friendliness of the EV will be vital for large scale success in the marketplace. Early involvement in the coordination of the International Standards sends a strong message to the marketplace, reduces the potential for wasted investments and provides corporate-level assurance. International Standards reduce the level of risk in terms of liability.

Bringing experts together

As the leading international standardization organization for electrotechnology, the IEC feels responsible for ensuring a coordinated effort on EVs. The IEC has a long history of bringing the right people from all sectors around the table to find solutions and move forward with current and prospective partners. In January 2011, the IEC and e8 held a strategic Round Table on EVs, bringing together high-level representatives from the world leading utilities, electric equipment suppliers and automotive manufacturers to develop a common vision on the best way to provide International Standards for EVs.


In the EV statement, the Global Sustainable Electricity Partnership shared details about the Round Table with the summit: This meeting brought together 29 representatives from almost all major automotive manufacturers, electrical equipment manufacturers and utilities and it was the first meeting of its kind…. all participants agreed to use International Standards and confirmed that the IEC's current International Standards, as well as those being developed, meet their initial needs.


Chairmen, representatives and guests at the
Electric Vehicle side event.
Credits: American Electric Power, 2011


The need to work across several industry sectors to prepare for mass introduction and integration of EVs in the market was underlined and there was a call for further IEC-e8 strategic Round Table meetings on EVs. The outcomes were reported at the e8 UN-Energy Global Summit: Strengthen Public-Private Partnerships to accelerate global electricity technology deployment and the Global Sustainable Electricity Partnership (formerly e8) confirmed their commitment to continue working work with the IEC to develop International Standards for EVs.


The next IEC-e8 strategic Round Table on EVs is being planned for later in 2011.

Preparing for success

The IEC is already producing International Standards in areas relevant to EVs, in terms of both the electricity supply, with Smart Grid, and the in-vehicle electrical equipment with connectors, HV batteries and electric motors for example. One of the core strengths of the IEC is that it provides a one-stop shop for industry and governments alike with its benchmark comprehensive standards - covering safety, efficiency, interoperability, EMC, performance as well as environmental issues - and its global conformity assessment systems.


For the success of this new technology, the collaboration of all interested parties worldwide will be necessary to take a systems approach, achieve interoperability and avoid market fragmentation. IEC International Standards facilitate global market access at the same time as protecting consumer, government and industry interests.


The IEC brings together not only technical expertise in electrotechnology but also the experience of working with all interested parties for more than 100 years. IEC International Standards provide the best assurance of quality and safety because they are developed by the world’s top experts, coming from all sectors in the field. Competitors choose to work together through the IEC for their common interests because projects are managed transparently, providing visibility for interested parties to continuously monitor developments. IEC International Standards are recognized and used globally in both regulated and free markets.


Download the full EV statement issued at the e8 UN-Energy summit (pdf)