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Audi, GM, others unite on 20-minute EV charging standard for green drivers in a rush


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Fast-charging an EV isn't new in itself, but deciding on a standard for it is. Which is why we're glad to hear that Audi, BMW, Chrysler, Daimler, Ford, GM, Porsche and Volkswagen have all agreed to a common format for their EV charging ports, the not-very-elegantly-titled DC Fast Charging with a Combined Charging System. Together, the automakers are promising a consistent way to power up a car within 15 to 20 minutes, all without breaking a current Type 1 AC charging implementation. The new format will be demoed at the Electric Vehicle Symposium 26 in Los Angeles starting May 6. Just be aware that your first-generation Focus Electric won't be certain to use the newly universal technology: the first cars to tout the new plug won't be at dealerships until 2013, and the European vehicle association ACEA is only guaranteeing that charging stations on the continent will be using the DC Fast Charging system by 2017. Check after the break for a further look at the port.


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Global Automakers to Demo EV Fast Charging at EVS26

Combined Charging System allows AC and DC fast-charging from single inlet port

LOS ANGELES – Global automakers from the United States and Germany will demonstrate fast-charging technology that will enable the recharging of most electrified vehicles with compatible systems in as little as 15-20 minutes.

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.

Live charging demonstrations will be conducted during the Electric Vehicle Symposium 26 (EVS26) May 6-9.

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 collaborative reviews and analysis of existing charging strategies, the ergonomics of the connector and preferences of U.S. and European customers. The 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 units are projected to be available later this year. All committed OEMs have vehicles in development which will use the Combined Charging System. The first vehicles to use this system will reach the market in 2013.

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