New Calls for E.V. Standardization Made


The recent events that occurred with electric vehicles have caused much concern for the industry. The recent battery fire with the Chevrolet Volt during testing and the Fisker Karma recall has put safety and storage of lithium ion batteries on the front page news.

All throughout history, when new technology becomes more available, only then would standards to guide its production and use are created and carried out. The path that must be created include the adoption of EV builders the common standards to govern all of its creations.

For this, the American National Standards Institute issued its recommended standardization road map. This is a122 page document designed to pinpoint where gaps exist between manufacturer’s ability and market implementation. This report offers what standards agency SAE International terms as “voluntary consensus” guidelines instead of governmental regulation with the force of law.

According to James McCabe, Senior Director of Standards Facilitation at the institute said, “The United States needs a coordinated approach. We saw it happening in other parts of the world, including Europe and Asia. There are no specific industry-wide standards that address the storage of lithium-ion batteries. This is a key safety concern, because they are likely to be stored in all sorts of situations, from repair facilities to swapping stations.”

The authors of the road map have identified battery storage and care as one of the major area requiring near-term standards. One of the bigger aspects is storage risk and must be evaluated based on several factors, such as state of charge, mechanical wholeness and battery age.”

This coming Monday, Massachusetts would become the second state in the Union to issue specialized special licensed plates for plug in electric cars. The first one was Hawaii and it is aimed to provide risk and caution for first responders in reporting accidents involving these kinds of vehicles.

Another new technology that the road map touched on was wireless charging. This kind of technology dispenses with the need for plugs and plug-ins, which is now near fruition into commercial use. As a carrot, the U.S. Department of Energy has offered a $12 million grant for companies that can put up production-feasible wireless charging systems built into a fleet of market ready and grid connected electric vehicles.

The wireless standards are underway from SAE International. The first guidelines would be released from the institute would be due out in 2012. Another firm, Underwriters Laboratories, is also developing safety standards for wireless. With interest in wireless charging at an al time high, the standards would help companies retain viability, competitiveness and efficiency.