The European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA) has defined joint specifications to connect electric vehicles to the charging points.
The industry recommendations will enable the relevant EU standardisation bodies to make progress with defining a common interface between the electricity infrastructure and vehicles throughout Europe.
The recommendations also provide decisive guidance to public authorities that are planning investments in public charging spots.
Ivan Hodac, secretary-general of ACEA, the automobile industry’s trade association in Brussels, said: “This is an important step towards the successful deployment of electrically chargeable vehicles in Europe.
“A uniform and user-friendly charging infrastructure is a prerequisite to build a market. We want to avoid a situation where customers have to carry a multitude of charging cables to use their vehicles in different cities, regions and countries, just as we see today with items like mobile phones.”
The European specifications could form the basis for a global standard. Japanese and South Korean manufacturers have been closely involved in developing the joint industry recommendations for the European market.
The joint specifications cover, in a first step, charging of passenger cars and light commercial vehicles, both at home and at public charging spots.
During a transition period, customers will be enabled to use the different plugs already on the market. A uniform solution will become standard for all new vehicle types by 2017. The car industry expects to make recommendations for quick charging and heavy-duty vehicles shortly.