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Ford Focus Electric confirmed to not support fast charging, EV fragmentation looms large

Darren Murph

Thought that fragmentation was reserved for the mobile OS realm? Think again. With the first (and second) waves of electric vehicles dribbling out to the streets, an obvious problem is becoming even more obvious. The city of Chicago is fixing to install 73 fast-charging EV stations by the end of the year, but two of the most commonly driven ones won't be able to take advantage. Chevy's Volt and Ford's Focus Electric will only support the slower Level 2 charging, leaving those faster ones for Nissan Leaf and Mitsubishi i MiEV owners to enjoy. As if that weren't headache-inducing enough, a slew of other automakers are reportedly planning to "sign on to a new standard for fast charging that would be incompatible with Chicago's infrastructure," and if you think the Windy City is alone in this mess, you're wrong. We've already heard of similar issues in the nation's capitol, and Jack Pokrzywa, manager of global ground vehicle standards for SAE International, still doesn't seem convinced that auto producers are really ready and willing to commit to a single fast-charging standard. HD DVD vs. Blu-ray was one thing, but thousands of vehicle chargers crowding up our cities once they become obsolete in a year? That's so not green.

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