TheInternational Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) and e8, a global organization of ten world-leading electricity companies, for the first time have brought together all major stakeholders that need to collaborate to accelerate the global roll-out of electric vehicles (EVs). At this high-level international round table that took place on January 19 in Washington D.C., and which represents a milestone in the future growth of these vehicles, all participants confirmed that the IEC’s existing and proposed international standards for EV charging satisfy their global needs.

Until now, little communication took place at an international level between automotive manufacturers, electric equipment suppliers, and utilities to coordinate work around EVs. For the very first time, the IEC, in cooperation with e8, has provided them with a global platform to discuss mutual needs and requirements.

The objective of the round table was to determine priorities for the development of EV-related standards, to define future needs, and to accelerate the broad adoption of the relevant international standards that will enable global interoperability and connectivity.

The stakes in EVs are high and growing. The car industry considers EVs as one of the key solutions for maintaining sustainable individual transportation. Governments increasingly push for electrified transportation to reduce carbon dioxide emissions as one of the tools to fight climate change. Today, only approximately 1% of electricity produced is used in transportation, while this sector contributes to roughly 20% of carbon dioxide emissions.

While all parties work intensely on developing technologies that will enable a more energy-efficient future, utilities are simply expected to deliver the fuel that will drive those electric cars. However, without significant investment into infrastructure, a broad EV roll-out will remain fiction.

"To make mass charging possible, global solutions are needed," says Frank Kitzantides, former IEC VP, who chaired the round table as IEC senior technology consultant. "Charging systems must be user-friendly, largely the same, and safe and easy to operate and use. To achieve this, all stakeholders need to cooperate to better understand each other’s role."