US-EU research collaboration releases EV transatlantic trade recommendations

US-EU research collaboration releases EV transatlantic trade recommendations
A widely available, reliable network of public charging points is needed to support the ever-increasing number of electric vehicles (EV) on the road, both in the EU and the US. (© EU, 2022)

The EV market is booming. To meet demand, US and EU research bodies published a set of recommendations to encourage transatlantic trade and set up networks of reliable public charging points to support growing EV demand.

The set of EV recommendations offers guidance to policy makers and implementing bodies in the EU and US on how best to improve and rapidly roll out smart charging infrastructure for Electric Vehicles (EVs).

The Transatlantic Technical Recommendations for Government-funded Implementation of Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure was put together and published by a collaborative effort between the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC) and the US Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory (ANL).

The EV recommendations cover the upgrade and expansion of charging infrastructure, hoping to help set harmonised standards and remove trade barriers as the EV market continues to grow.

According to the IEA’s Global Electric Vehicle Outlook 2023 – released earlier this year in April – EV demand is forecast to leap by 35% this year after a record-breaking 2022.

Additionally, according to the European Commission’s EU electricity market report – fourth quarter 2022, more than 695,000 new EVs were registered in the EU in the last trimester of 2022, a 30% increase in comparison with the same period the year before.

The transatlantic EV recommendations were listed in response to the effect of widespread e-mobility on the power grid, aiming to make charging infrastructure fit for future challenges.

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EV trade recommendations

The recommendations are separated into three sets:

Transatlantic Technical Recommendations for Government-funded Implementation of Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure. Courtesy European Commission (© EU, 2023)
  1. Develop a joint standards support strategy

Harmonised standards, codes and regulation, they state, along with associated test procedures will facilitate the growth of e-mobility and a charging ecosystem.

This in turn will allow US and EU industries to realise economies of scale. Harmonised standards would allow industry to cut costs and development times without hindering innovation or competitive edge.

Manufacturers and suppliers in the EU and the US could benefit, they state, from international standards to cut costs and development times while maintaining competitiveness across global markets and fostering innovation. Developing consumer- and grid-friendly charging solutions requires further pre-normative research and common testing methods, too.

  1. Support development of smart charging infrastructure that avoids stranded assets

The recommendations state that the success of broad electro-mobility uptake depends on the speedy and widely accepted build-up of charging infrastructure.

New technologies and communication standards would enable better demand management when many EVs are charging at the same time.

Developing and implementing cost-effective smart charging infrastructure will thus be crucial in better exploiting and integrating renewable electricity, such as solar and wind power, and to ensure the stability of electric grids.

Recommendations are thus made on overcoming ‘growing pains’ and obstacles in vehicle to grid integration and smart charging management to optimise cost and tech potential.

  1. Conduct pre-normative Research, Development and Demonstration (RD&D) to support the consumer, industry and the grid

Recommended proposals are made for joint RD&D and development of common testing procedures, including for:

• Coordinated research to support grid reliability under mass EV charging

• Common RD&D to optimise capability of EVs, smart charging and their ICT infrastructure for the provision of grid services

• Cost-effective, energy-efficient and grid-friendly charging solutions that integrate EVs with the grid

Regional and local authorities, they state in their recommendations, have a leading role in the uptake of e-mobility. Sharing best practices will be important to bring more certainty to public authorities and private, often government-subsidised, investors.

The collaboration between the JRC and ANL is also hoped to help advance new technologies like wireless charging for EVs and charging with bidirectional power flow.

Ambitious policies have been cited, both by the European Commission and by the IEA, as major driving forces behind the booming market (domestically, both for the US and EU).

Most notably, the US’s Inflation Reduction Act emphasises strengthening the domestic supply chains for EVs, batteries and minerals in the US; more nascent the EU’s Net Zero Industry Act aims for nearly 90% of annual battery demand to be met by domestic battery manufacturers.