New CEN standard harmonises labels for electric vehicle power supply

A new standard has been recently adopted by CEN to facilitate the charging of electric cars all around Europe. 

The approved standard is EN 17186:2019. It establishes harmonised labels to indicate power supply for electric road vehicles.

The new labels aim to simplify the information that drivers see when charging their electric car. They provide a common language throughout Europe for compatibility between charging stations, the cable assemblies and their vehicles. This is good news not just for drivers, but also for manufacturers of charging stations and electric vehicles, EV dealerships, as well as making life easier for those involved in preparing EV instruction manuals.

The new labelling is based on the fact that the power supply for electric vehicles uses vehicle inlets, socket-outlets, connectors and plugs. The aim is to distinguish among them and provide easy (and equal for all) guidance on the size, shape and other information of relevance for compatibility recognition.

The labels do that thanks to a simple symbol; a white or black hexagon with the C letter inside. Each one of them is associated to each kind of electric power supply. The main distinction is based on the supply method, whether it is based on vehicle connectors and inlets, or on plug and socket outlets. The new labels will look like this:

The deployment of the new labels on new electrical vehicles and on power supply stations for electrical vehicles in Europe is planned to be achieved by February 2021. The final objective is to facilitate the increasing number of drivers of electric cars and sustain the upkeep of this innovative and sustainable technology.

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