U.S. and German automakers have agreed on a common EV charger in an effort to spread the use of electric vehicles.
Audi, BMW, Chrysler, Daimler, Ford, General Motors, Porsche, and Volkswagen will demonstrate the DC-fast charging with a Combined Charging System at the Electric Vehicle Symposium (EVS26). The universal vehicle inlet integrates one-phase AC-charging, fast three-phase AC-charging, DC-charging, and ultra-fast DC-charging, allowing it to recharge most electric cars in the U.S. and in Europe in as little as 20 minutes.
The Society of International Engineers has chosen the charging method as its standard and the European association of vehicle manufacturers (ACEA) has endorsed the technology, meaning the system will be the charging interface for new EVs starting in 2017. With expected improvements in charging reliability and total cost of ownership, the combined charging approach could encourage more hybrid owners to make the jump to revised versions of plug-in hybrids and full electric vehicles like the Chevrolet Volt and Nissan Leaf.
“Industry-wide adoption of this system will only enhance the image of EVs and lead to greater consumer acceptance,” Chrysler said in a statement.
Motor Trend Technical Director Frank Markus is pleased at the development, but has his doubts: “The big question is: Can batteries tolerate frequent fast charging? [I believe] Nissan warns to keep it to a couple fast charges a month. Hence, EVs won’t suddenly be useful as go-anywhere cars, because you probably shouldn’t be fast charging daily on your rounds. Or maybe new batteries will be fine with that.”
GM spokesman Kevin Kelly says it all depends. “It varies on battery chemistry design and capabilities, but some batteries can be quick-charged multiple times.” Kelly also noted the upcoming Chevrolet Spark EV will be able to handle fast charging and work with the shared system.
The Combined Charging System is projected to be available by the end of this year while vehicles compatible with the technology should become available in 2013. All automakers involved currently have vehicles in development that will be compatible with the system. The EVS26 conference takes place in Los Angeles May 6-9.
Source: Chrysler, GM