The mass use of electric transport is impossible without technological standardisation.

Standards for electric road vehicle charging infrastructure are already in place. For other electric modes of transport, such as aircraft and ships, work to establish such standards is already underway.

Standards are already in place for electric vehicle charging infrastructure covering passenger cars, light-duty vans and trucks, which cover both physical connectors and communication protocols. As such, a lack of standardisation is not considered to be a barrier to the widespread deployment of electric vehicles. The European Commission has decided on an EU standard physical connector for both slow and fast charging and many fast-charging stations support multiple connectors to ensure that even legacy non-standard vehicles can charge.

The ISO15118 communication protocol has also been agreed and enables, among other things, smart charging, in which the energy demand from the vehicles is matched to grid capacity, and vehicle to grid flows. ISO 15118’s Plug & Charge capability also enables the EV to automatically identify itself when connecting to the charging station. This means that the only thing the driver needs to do is to plug in the charger. Other forms of identification such as RFID or mobile apps are no longer needed.

Standards are not yet in place for electric ships and electric aircraft due to their lower technical maturity. However, work is underway to establish standards for these modes of transport as well.

References:

M. Spöttle et al., “Research for TRAN Committee – Charging Infrastructure for Electric Road Vehicles,” 2018, https://doi.org/10.2861/62486.

“What Is ISO 15118?,” V2G Clarity, 2019, https://v2g-clarity.com/knowledgebase/what-is-iso-15118/.