The European Commission has published its vision for putting Europe at the forefront of electric car technology.
The strategy documentcalls for a Europe-wide standardised battery charger and for the new charging specification to be agreed by next year.
Antonio Tajani, the industry commissioner, said that common standards were essential for Europe, because Asian and US-based competitors were already developing their own programmes.
"Without strong standardisation work, I think it will be difficult to develop a market for electric cars," said Tajani.
Tajani added that the EU held no view on whether electric, hydrogen and other alternatively fuelled cars would take the market lead, but added that member states appeared to agree that electric-powered vehicles were the best long-term method to create low-carbon transport.
Transport accounts for about a quarter of the EU’s emissions of carbon dioxide.