Through the Green Deal, the European Commission has set a series of ambitious goals to transition towards a fully green economy and reach the global climate target of net zero by 2050. To reach these objectives, all actors involved will have to rethink the way to produce and consume, the way our infrastructures work, the use of resources and the functioning of transportation systems. In this first contribution, the focus is on Sustainable and smart mobility.

European standards contribute actively to sustainable and smart mobility trough three different tracks:

  • the standardization of ITS (Intelligent Transport Systems) and Electric Road Systems;
  • the standardization related to the deployment of alternative fuels vehicles and infrastructure;
  • the intramodality and the shift to public transport, trough the standardization in the rail sector.

European standardization successfully addressed the challenge of the interoperability of electronic road toll systems and of co-operative systems for Intelligent Transport in the field of information and communication technologies. The standardization work will now meet new challenges as automated vehicles are deployed and cybersecurity becomes an issue.

The necessity of improving the sustainability of transport requires a transition to alternative fuels vehicle beyond the traditional combustion model. In this sense CEN and CENELEC have produced major standards in the framework of Directive 2014/94/EU (CEN/TC 268 'Cryogenic vessels and specific hydrogen technologies applications', CEN/TC 326 'Natural gas vehicles - Fuelling and operation', TC 286 'Liquefied petroleum gas equipment and accessories', CEN/TC 301 'Road vehicles' and CENELEC/TC 69X 'Electrical systems for electric road vehicles'). Regarding liquefied natural gas (LNG) and compressed natural gas (CNG), most of the identified standards on connectors and fuelling stations have been adopted as EN standards. Nevertheless, there are still important standardization needs and opportunity in this field, notably the integration of bio methane in CNG and LNG, the transport of (bio) LNG and the transport of LNG in tank containers via rail.

For electric vehicles, a complementary set of standards dedicated to smart charging, customer information standards, standards on “real-time” information on charging point and standards for interoperable energy services constitutes the next milestones in this field. Furthermore, sustainability criteria and standards are needed for (electric vehicle) battery design, enabling second life for batteries through reuse for energy storage.

Standards play a crucial role for a future shift to rail and to ensure greater intramodality. New topics still to be addressed are: connections to other transport sectors, cybersecurity, autonomous operation and optimized interfaces between the subsystems of the railway system. Also, the use of simulation instead of physical testing for all kinds of requirements need to be supported by proper standardization in order to further strengthen the sector.

This article is based on the CEN-CENELEC position paper “Standards in support of the European Green Deal Commitments”.More info on the CEN/CENELEC website.