The European Commission has proposed safety harmonization measures to ensure that electric cars in member states are safe and that consumers are protected against direct contacts with parts of the car under voltage.
The EU has pledged to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions, and sees hybrid and electric cars as a key part of that strategy. The measures will speed up the introduction of safe electric cars on European roads.
Hybrid and electric cars carry massive batteries rated up to 500 volts, a potentially lethal charge. The aim of the European Commission’s proposal published today is to ensure that all electric cars marketed in Europe are constructed according to a common safety standard and thereby protecting car users from getting into contact with high voltage parts of the car.
EU member states should also set common standards for safety tests, so that a car approved in one member state can automatically be sold in all others, the commission said.
At present, each EU member state operates its own test regime, making it more difficult for the makers of electric cars to sell their products across the bloc.
Vice-President Antonio Tajani, responsible for Industry and Entrepreneurship said: “Electrical cars are one of the most promising technologies for greener transport. Knowing that these will be generally available to consumers in the very near future we need to ensure that they are safe to use. These proposals aim at doing just that. Meanwhile I am pleased that we are reducing red-tape by eliminating what in reality is a double-burden for industry when it comes to car type approval.”