Brussels' Joint Research Centre has inaugurated a laboratory for evaluation of the next generation of electric cars and smart grids.

Together with its partner facility in the US Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory, the new operation will ensure interoperability of electric cars and smart grids on both sides of the Atlantic, based on harmonised standards, technology validation and testing methods.

The European Commission (EC) says the creation of this laboratory follows the recent decision of the Transatlantic Economic Council and represents a step towards creating "a single language" for all vehicle components, which will benefit industry and the environment.

"Smart grids and electric vehicles are rapidly evolving, but we have not yet harnessed their full potential,” said EC vice-president, Maroš Šefcovic.

“Deeloping harmonised standards across the Atlantic will contribute to minimise trade barriers and increase the global market for innovative products and services for the EU and US producers and consumers.”