Electric Vehicles

Automakers Work to Standardize & Shorten EV Charge Times

May 16, 2012

LOS ANGELES – Audi, BMW, Chrysler, Daimler, Ford, General Motors, Porsche and Volkswagen have agreed to support a harmonized single-port fast charging approach – called DC-fast charging with a Combined Charging System – for use on electric vehicles in Europe and the United States.

The fast-charging technology enables the recharging of most electrified vehicles with compatible systems in as little as 15-20 minutes, according to a joint statement from the automakers.

The combined charging system integrates one-phase AC-charging, fast three-phase AC-charging, DC-charging at home and ultra-fast DC-charging at public stations into one vehicle inlet. This will allow customers to charge at most existing charging stations regardless of power source and may speed more affordable adoption of a standardized infrastructure.

The International Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) has chosen the Combined Charging System as the fast-charging methodology for a standard that incrementally extends the existing Type 1-based AC-charging. The standard is to be officially published this summer. ACEA, the European association of vehicle manufacturers has also selected the Combined Charging System as its AC/DC-charging interface for all new vehicle types in Europe beginning in 2017.

The charging system design was based on the collaborative review and analysis of existing charging strategies, the ergonomics of the connector and preferences of U.S. and European customers. The Combined Charging System was developed for all international vehicle markets and creates a uniform standard with identical electrical systems, charge controllers, package dimensions and safety mechanisms.

The system maximizes capability for integration with future smart grid developments through common broadband communication methods regardless of the global location of the charging system. The combined charging approach will reduce development and infrastructure complexity, improve charging reliability, reduce the total cost-of-ownership for end customers and provide low maintenance costs.

Commercially available combined charging stations are projected to be available later this year. All committed OEMs have vehicles in development which will use the Combined Charging System. 

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