Brussels proposes rule to protect against electric-car shock
16.06.10 @ 09:28
Aiming to speed up the entry to market of European electric cars, the European Commission has proposed that the EU adopt a set of safety standards for the vehicles across the bloc.
The rules focus on protection of passengers from electric shocks, notably from parts of the vehicle which have a high-voltage function.
They also cover common safety labelling, protection from hazardous gases and ensuring that electric cars are all constructed to the same standard no matter which EU member state they are produced in.
"Electrical vehicles are one of the most promising technologies for greener transport. Knowing that these will be generally available to consumers in the very near future we need to ensure that they are safe to use," said industry commissioner Antonio Tajani as he unveiled his proposal.
The EU executive says that by having a set of common standards, this reduces the administrative burden by eliminating the potential for a patchwork of different rules, and eases the path to market.
Currently, each member state maintains its own car testing rules. In 2011, the EU executive hopes to propose common charging standards and then in the following year conduct a review of crash risks from electric vehicles.
The safety rules, totalling 61 regulations altogether, come wholesale from the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (Unece), the UN regional economic co-operation organisation.
Brussels is proposing they be adopted in order to avoid a duality between Unece regulations and commission directives.
The rules now pass to the EU member states for approval.