SAE International has approved a new technical standard that is expected to radically cut charging times for plug-in hybrid electric vehicles as well as electric vehicles. SAE International disclosed that the new charging standard will allow charging times to be cut to as short as 20 minutes from as long as eight hours. The global engineering group said the new charging standard was developed with the cooperation of more than 190 carmakers, utilities and equipment builders. Carmakers want DC charging to take less than 10 minutes, which is around the same amount of time needed to fill a tank with gasoline. The goal of the new charging standard is to accommodate currents as high as 500 volts distributed from public charging stations.
The Combo standard approved by SAE has been backed by carmakers from the US and Germany. A competing CHAdeMo charging system has been backed by Japanese carmakers and boast of over 1,500 charging stations in operation, most of them in Japan. Andrew Smart, director of industry relations and business development for SAE International, described the new technical standard as a “real game-changer," adding that it reflects the advancements in technology within PHEV and EV engineering. SAE International remarked that the new standard will result in reduced times at public charging stations, allowing drivers to travel greater distances in their vehicles.
Gery Kissel, an engineering specialist with General Motors' Global Battery Systems unit and head of SAE's charging task force, quipped that the new technical standard reflects the many hours that top industry experts from around the world toiled “to achieve the best charging solution.” Kissel said the new standard will allow them to offer various charging options in one combined design.