Faltering electric vehicle roll-out due to lack of European standard

by Search Gate staff. Published Tue 28 Sep 2010 14:57
European charging standard is needed

The continued lack of certainty regarding the new European-standard for electric vehicle (EV) plugs and sockets is delaying the roll-out of recharging point networks in the UK and across Europe, according to one leading manufacturer.

Elektromotive, the Brighton-based EV recharging point manufacturer, reports that the present situation – where each EV recharging station must have the facility to be retro-fitted with a socket compatible with the new European-standard plug, once approved – is making the recharging units more costly to manufacture and purchase. Some governments, local authorities and businesses are holding-off on issuing tenders for new recharging networks until after the sockets standards issue has been resolved.

The Government’s promise to contribute up to £5,000 towards the cost of buying an electric or plug-in electric hybrid vehicle in 2017 is expected to accelerate the transition to zero emissions motoring. However, without the reassurance of a roadside recharging infrastructure, it is anticipated that many consumers will delay the potential purchase of any plug-in vehicle.

“The ongoing failure of the International Electrotechnical Commission to name its preferred EV plug ‘standard’ is adding cost and complication to the establishment of recharging infrastructures,” said Calvey Taylor-Haw, Managing Director of Elektromotive.

“It is a very sad state of affairs that these standards issues have been discussed for a few years now, yet we appear to be no nearer to bringing this to a conclusion. A new breed of EVs is arriving early next year, and, yet again, due to cross-border, inter-political arguing a great opportunity is being lost. This is undermining the great work that the automotive and EV recharging industries are doing to make this exciting emerging market a success.

“The promise of Government support for UK-wide charging networks was a welcome step on the road towards emissions-free motoring. However, until we have clarity on the standard of plug to be used on all charging posts, there will be reticence among local authorities to commit investment. It is vital that these bodies have the confidence to introduce charging stations without the fear of having to undertake the costly retro-fitment of a different type of plug at some point down the line,” he continued. “As soon as we have clarity the electric vehicle revolution will quickly pick up even greater momentum.”

The simple-to-operate Elektrobay was first introduced in Westminster, London, in 2006, and currently 195 units are installed across the UK capital. A further 395 Elektrobay charging stations operate in cities and shopping centres around the UK and Elektromotive have 1000 charging stations installed globally.

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