Automakers want to establish a common standard for plugs and infrastructure for EVs

Article by Christian Andrei, on March 5, 2011

Auto executives who gathered at the recent Geneva Auto Show said they will need broad, political support to establish a common standard for plugs and infrastructure for electric cars if they are to become a convenient option for consumers.

They added that a lack of standardization may become a problem once the zero-emission cars start to sell in larger numbers by mid-decade - as they compete with low-emission hybrids.

Michel Gardel, vice president at Toyota Motor Corp.’s European operations, said that standardization and harmonization is a critical issue in Europe. He cited that traveling from Denmark to Italy will require the driver to change the plug four times.

Establishing a common industrial policy for anything is difficult in Europe, where governments prioritize domestic interests, sometimes at the expense of convenience for consumers and regional harmony. That could pose a problem for EVs when they become capable of travelling longer distances and cross-border travel.

At a World Economic session in Davos earlier in 2011, CEO of the Renault-Nissan alliance, Carlos Ghosn, said that what they are trying to do as an (automobile) industry is “tough” because of the numerous competitive issues. [via reuters]

Topics: electric car

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