Designing and building to a multitude of standards for each one-off or proprietary set of electric vehicle (EV) specifications is an expensive and laborious process. That's why Daimler and BMW engineers have joined together in a call for industry-wide standards for future development.

The industry as a whole faces the same costs and governmental and market pressures to meet new CO2 emissions requirements. The expense in doing so shouldn't be needlessly duplicated dozens of times, says Thomas Weber, Daimler's head of research, who has asked the industry to work together as it moves forward, reports Automotive News.

A similar sentiment was voiced by BMW's development chief Klaus Draeger, also at the 2008 World Automotive Congress of FISITA, an international association of engineers. Draeger even thinks it's time to spread some of the cost beyond the automotive industry.

"The race to use less crude oil is a major challenge but we need to share the burden between all parties. This is not just an auto industry issue," he said.

The issue is especially needful of solution as Asia, especially China and Russia, become larger players in the global market.

According to Daimler's Weber, "There is a need for the harmonization of emissions laws in Europe, the U.S. and emerging markets like China. At the moment they are different and we need to say this is nonsense."

Daimler is coming to market with at least two EVs within the next several years, plus a range of hybrids. It even hopes to expand hybrid sales for its Mercedes-Benz brand to a full 20% of total volume by 2015. BMW is similarly moving forward with its hybrid and electric plans with the X6 ActiveHybrid and the 7-series hybrid expected to arrive at next month's Paris Motor Show.