According to EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht, the US and the European Union are planning to collaborate on setting standards for electric vehicles in an attempt to foster development of environmentally-friendly cars.
De Gucht, who visited Washington D.C. on June 21st to meet with U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk, said, “The EU and U.S. are about to agree to an ambitious work plan aiming at aligning regulatory issues, standards, and research.” The joint rules, he said, would help the world’s two largest economies “avoid moving into different directions and risk creating new market barriers.”
Bloomberg reports that while details of the collaboration are still in the works and will likely not be released until later this year, a large percentage of the discussion will likely revolve around batteries and motors. The two sides will also likely address the issue of sound. Last December, Congress passed a bill that will require all EVs and hybrids, the engines of which are almost completely silent even when running, be equipped with a “noise maker” to alert nearby pedestrians.
This is great news not only for EV consumers, but also for first responders. Uniform safety codes and standards for hybrid and electric vehicles will make it far easier for first responders to address emergency situations involving such vehicles, as they will not need to be as concerned with variations between models. For more information, check out the full report here. Creating uniform codes and standards for electric vehicles is also the goal of the 2nd Annual Electric Vehicle Safety Summit, sponsored by SAE and NFPA, which will take place September 27-28, 2011, in Detroit.
- Shelly Shore