Standardisation of Infrastructure that Supports Innovation: the Case of the Dutch EV Charging Infrastructure
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The purpose of this research is to describe the standardisation for infrastructure that supports innovation. The case for this qualitative research is the charging infrastructure for electric vehicles in the Netherlands. Both the standardisation process and the types of standards that were developed were investigated. This is reflected in the following research questions: RQ1: What aspects influenced the standardisation process of the Dutch EV charging infrastructure and what implications can be identified for innovation? RQ2: What types of standards were developed for the Dutch EV charging infrastructure and what implications can be identified for innovation? The main scope of this case study is infrastructure for AC normal charging on (semi-)public ground. In total 17 stakeholders that were involved in building this infrastructure were questioned, using semi-structured interviews. The results include a chronological description of events and the view of the different stakeholders on standardisation and innovation. The analysis of these results is based on a theoretical framework that describes the process of standardisation and the types and functions of standards. Important aspects of the standardisation process were the long-term view of grid operators and governmental support to engage stakeholders. The standardisation was executed in a formal and informal process. The formal process included the standard-setting body NEN. The informal process involved meetings of stakeholders in order to provide compatibility in the infrastructure and to solve practical problems. Supportive for innovation were the focus on avoidance of technological lock-ins and the focus on enabling competition. Standards were developed to ensure compatibility between different charging stations and EV service providers. This compatibility was seen as necessary to execute a market model which involves a multitude of companies, competing with each other. As a formal standard, the use of the Dutch Technical Agreement (NTA) was a smart move to combine the flexibility and pace of an informal agreement with the stability of a norm. Flexibility in the standards, by describing only performances, was seen as beneficial for innovation in charging infrastructure, but was limited to communication compatibility standards. Stability of the Dutch EV charging infrastructure was created by choosing a fixed design for the socket of charging stations and by creating a roaming model for EV service providers by convention.