Association of European Automotive and Industrial Battery Manufacturers

Battery standards are mainly developed by the European Committee for Electro-technical Standardization (CENELEC), the International Electro-technical Commission (IEC), and sometime by the International Standards Organization (ISO) and within the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UN ECE).

IEC Technical Committee 21 and its sub-committee 21A (IEC TC21/SC21A):

A unique international place where battery experts are leading the development of IEC standards on secondary cells and batteries is the IEC Technical Committee TC21 and its sub-committee SC21A. The IEC TC21 & SC21A have direct liaisons installed with ISO and other application-oriented IEC TCs, in order to ensure that battery experts are concerned as from the start when it comes to standardizing battery features for specific applications.

The IEC TC21/SC21A provides standards for all secondary cells and batteries related to product (dimension and performance), safety (including marking and labelling), testing, and safe application (installation, maintenance, operation) irrespective of type or application or configuration (hybrid, stand alone, module).

Main applications are:

  • automotive (car, motorcycle, truck) for starting, lighting, ignition, start/stop
  • industrial (telecom, UPS, reliable power supply, emergency lighting and traction)
  • electrical vehicles (full electrical vehicle, hybrid car, light electrical vehicle, bicycle)
  • portable (computer, tool, lamp)
  • onboard batteries (aircraft, railway, ship, motor-home) • energy storage (renewable, on- grid and off-grid).

All electrochemical technologies are considered such as Lead acid, Nickel based (NiMH, NiCd) and Lithium based. New battery technologies and chemistries such as flow batteries and high temperature batteries (e.g. sodium sulfur, sodium nickel chloride) are included. 90% of the European standards are IEC origin.

CENELEC Technical Committee 21x (CLC TC21x):

The CENELEC Technical Committee TC 21x committee (CLC TC21x) is responsible for developing European cell and battery standards and is the mirror committee of the IEC TC21/SC21A.The national members and committees work jointly to develop and define standards that are considered necessary by market actors but in some case also to support the implementation of European legislation.

One major task of the CLC TC21x is to implement IEC.TC21/SC21A documents into CENELEC standards. Sometimes it is the other way around, when Europe initiates projects to bring European standards at World-level.

Besides preparing Safety Standards and associated Codes of Practice, the CLC TC21x may also consider environmental requirements for batteries which serves specific applications (examples pHEV/EV and grid large scale storage) to investigate if standards can help to achieve specific societal goals, such as resource efficiency aspects of batteries (raw material independency, recycling, eco-design, integration of storage capacities in the energy systems).

European Standardization System is unique in the world; after the publication of a European Standard, each national standards body or committee is obliged to withdraw any national standard which conflicts with the new European Standard. Hence, one European Standard becomes the national standard in all the 34 member countries of CEN/CENELEC.

How to participate in the standardization process of batteries?

If you wish to participate in the development of CEN/CENELEC or IEC battery standards, please get in touch first with the secretariat of your local National Committee. The complete list of countries is available HERE. If your country has not (yet) a National Committee, please contact the IEC TC 21 leaders who will support you to find a solution.

Suggestions or proposals for new work related to battery-standardization have to be submitted via the National Committees (NCs). Such a New Work Item Proposal (NWIP) should at least provide an outline and a working draft for discussion. It is the concerned NC who submits the NWIP, whether to the CENELEC TC 21x Secretariat (European level only), contact details are HERE, or to the IEC TC 21 Secretary (International level), Contact details HERE. A CENELEC or IEC specific voting/approval process will be then the next step.

How to purchase battery standards?

IEC battery standards can be purchased on-line in the IEC Webstore.

European Standards (EN standards) can be purchased either in the CEN/Cenelec National Standards Bodies), the CEN/Cenelec Affiliates or the Partner Standardization Bodies. Example for Germany is BEUTH which you can access HERE.

More information on the workflow of the IEC TC21/SC21A and the CLC/TC21x standardization bodies as well as an overview of the published battery standards can be found HERE.