From: David A Gabel, ENN
Published May 11, 2012 09:47 AM

International Standards Emerge for EV Charging Systems

The automobile market is an international market. Cars made around the world are all sold around the world. It therefore makes sense for there to be standards, such as fuel use, so that the same cars can function properly in each country. As electric vehicles are slowly gaining in popularity, standards for electric charging stations are needed as well. Recently, eight US and German automakers have agreed to a standardized system for EV charging that will allow drivers to charge their vehicles quickly regardless of the power source.


The automakers part of this agreement include Audi, BMW, Chrysler, Daimler, Ford, General Motors, Porsche, and Volkswagen, perhaps the largest automakers in each country.

One type of standardization agreed to was to use the same shaped plug to fit in all vehicles. That way, all charging stations can be equipped to handle everything, much the same way gasoline fuel nozzles fit nicely in all fuel tanks.

Such a simple conformity is crucially vital to the creation of EV charging points at existing and future fueling stations. Otherwise, special connectors would be needed to fit for each car, creating confusion and inconvenience.

A demonstration of the newly adopted charging system was on view last week at the Electric Vehicle Symposium 26 in Los Angeles, California. The system integrates one-phase AC-charging, fast three-phase AC-charging, DC-charging at home, and ultra-fast DC-charging at public stations. All are combined into a single plug.

Vehicles could then be able to charge anywhere regardless of the type of power provided. The new standardized charging is also reported to recharge in EV in 15 to 20 minutes.

The "Combined Charging System" has been approved by the International Society of Automotive Engineers and the European association of vehicle manufacturers (ACEA), and the standard will be officially published this summer.

According to Ford Motor Company, "The system will optimize customer ease of use and will accelerate more affordable deployment of electrified vehicles and charging infrastructure."

"The system maximizes the capability for integration with future smart grid developments through common broadband communication methods regardless of the global location of the charging system," General Motors said in a statement.

For more information, check out the Electric Vehicle Symposium 26

Image credit: General Motors

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