Centre aims for global electric mobility standards

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The first of two Interoperability Centres designed to promote common standards in electric mobility and smart grids on both sides of the Atlantic has been inaugurated near Chicago.

According to the European Commission Joint Research Centre (JRC) converging standards and interoperability between smart grids and electric vehicles will allow for deeper penetration of renewable energies in electricity systems.

Similarly, technology harmonisation is expected to drive product and service innovation in the world’s two largest economies and could prove instrumental in establishing global standards for electric mobility.

The first Interoperability Centre is hosted at the US Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory near Chicago. The second Centre will be opened in the EU at JRC sites in Petten, the Netherlands and Ispra, Italy, in 2014.

It is claimed the interaction between smart grids – intelligent electricity systems – and electric vehicles will ensure economically efficient, sustainable power systems with low losses and high security of supply and safety.

Smart grids, as upgraded electricity networks, will provide a two-way digital communication between supplier and consumer which will predict and respond to the actions of all users connected to the grid.

Interoperability between smart grids and electric vehicles is viewed as paramount to achieving better energy efficiency, improved air quality in cities and reduced dependence on fossil fuels in order to move towards a low-carbon economy.

Furthermore, standardisation in this field will benefit the European energy landscape while converging transatlantic technical regulations could lead the way to global standards.