Fall 2012 IA-HEV ExCo meeting shows need for international collaboration

January 24, 2013 03:29 PM
Car2Go fleet in Stuttgart, Germany.
© Image courtesy of Car2Go.


Cooperation across borders is becoming necessary to help advance the cause of EVs, according to discussions at IA-HEV’s 37th Executive Committee (ExCo) meeting on October 15–16, 2012 in Stuttgart, Germany.

Specific topics discussed include:

Coordinating data collection with other EV-related organizations: IA-HEV and the IEA on behalf of the Electric Vehicles Initiative (EVI) are beginning to collaborate on collecting data on deployments of hybrid and electric vehicles and EVSE (electric vehicle supply equipment, also known as charging stations). Both organizations currently collect these kinds of data, but with different definitions of categories. Because four EVI countries (China, India, Japan, and South Africa) are not members of IA-HEV, a consistent data format collected across both groups would enable direct comparison of statistics from 21 countries.

To facilitate further data sharing, IA-HEV and EVI are also exploring coordinating definitions with those of the European Electromobility Observatory (EEO), which was launched on 5 December 2012 to become the main information platform on electromobility in the European regions. Geographically, it will cover the EU Member States with the EEA (European Environment Agency) Member States (Norway, Iceland, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, and Turkey). It will be coordinated by the organization HyER (Hydrogen Fuel Cells and Electromobility in European Regions) as part of seven-partner consortium composed of the following industry, research organizations, and universities: AVERE, POLIS, VUB, TNO, ECN and TÜV NORD.  

Interoperability and standardization of EV charging solutions: EV interoperability, with charging infrastructure from multiple service providers and across international borders, is still a major focus of EV-related efforts in Europe. Companies providing EV charging services want to identify the solutions that are flexible and cost-efficient for the future. As a result, there are multiple European activities discussing interoperability, including, Hubject, eMobility ICT Interoperability Interest Group, Green eMotion Marketplace, MOBI.Europe, etc. IA-HEV is tracking interoperability activities and may start a new Task in this area if gaps are identified on this topic that are not being addressed by the other efforts.

There was also a discussion of the need for standards for vehicle plugs and communication protocols between the EV, EVSE, and the electrical grid. European initiatives in this direction include the  maps of EVSE at LEMnet and Nobil, which are looking to harmonize charging station maps and labelling. Also, the Open Charge Point Protocol (OCPP) of the E-Laad Foundation aims to create an open communication standard that would allow charging stations and central systems from different vendors to easily communicate with each other. Although initially intended for the 10,000 E-Laad charging stations in the Netherlands, the protocol has already been adopted by several similar initiatives in different countries.

A representative from the European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA) at the meeting echoed the importance of these collaborations. He noted that progress on standardization of EVs and charging technology is one of the pillars for deployment of these technologies because it reduces costs for the industry and consumer and paves the way towards global harmonization.

Mid-term reflections on IA-HEV strategy: IA-HEV launched in 1993 and is now halfway through its fourth term, which began in December 2009 and will finish at the end of February 2015. Mr. van Walwijk gave an overview of the mid-term progress on the strategic plan for phase 4, and he concluded that the Agreement is well on its way working towards its objectives. Many of the objectives have been achieved and IA-HEV is addressing remaining topics.

New Task: The ExCo unanimously voted to start Task 22, EV Business Models. The goal is to advance the understanding of the opportunities to generate revenue and/or limit costs in the provision of EVs, recharging infrastructure, and the associated links to energy systems.

Potential future Tasks: Topics under consideration include wireless charging of EVs, pedelecs as an extension of public transportation systems, and interoperability of EV charging infrastructure.

Meeting participants included representatives from the IA-HEV member countries Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, the United Kingdom (U.K.), and the United States (U.S.).

Guests from the European Commission, Japan, Latvia, and South Korea also attended and presented. A representative from the IEA Implementing Agreement on Advanced Motor Fuels (IA-AMF) shared information on their topics and procedures. Leaders of the organizations AVERE (the European Association for Battery, Hybrid, and Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles) and ACEA (the European Automobile Manufacturers Organization) also participated.

Contributed by Kristin Abkemeier
Task 1 Operating Agent