New CEN standard: CEN adopted EN 17186:2019 on harmonised labels for electric car power supply 

Sustainability starts from the small things. With this belief, that animates the EU’s ambition to be a leader in sustainability, a new standard has been recently adopted by CEN to facilitate the charging of electric cars all around Europe. 

Recently approved EN 17186:2019 'Identification of vehicles and infrastructures compatibility - Graphical expression for consumer information on EV power supply' establishes harmonised labels to indicate power supply for electric road vehicles. The new labels aim at simplifying the information drivers receive regarding the compatibility between the charging stations, the cable assemblies and their vehicles, providing a common language all around Europe. For this reason, the standard targets a wide array of stakeholders, as the labels will have to be exposed on charging stations, vehicles, EV dealerships and consumer manuals.


EN 17186 has been developed in support of the implementation of Article 7 of Directive 2014/94/EU on ‘the deployment of alternative fuels infrastructure’. It follows the approach used for EN 16942:2016, which has recently entered into force all around the EU, dedicated to petrol-based fuels.

The new labelling is based on the fact that 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: 

harmonised labels for electric car power
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.

EN 17186:2019 was adopted by CEN/TC 301 - Road vehicles, whose Secretariat is currently held by AFNOR, the French National Standardization Body.

For more information, please contact Thierry Legrand