Seven carmakers agreed to support EV charging-system standard

Article by Christian A., on October 13, 2011

There will soon be an international standardized approach in Europe and the U.S. for the charging electric vehicles. So far, the companies that support this endeavor are Audi AG, BMW AG, Daimler AG, Ford Motor Co., General Motors Co., Porsche AG and Volkswagen AG. Electric vehicles built by these companies would then be able to use the same fast-charging stations. There will be one vehicle inlet-charging connector that could be used in all charging scenarios.

In Ford’s press statement, it said that it uses identical ways for the vehicle to communicate with the charging station. The automakers decided to support the combined charging system after studying the current charging strategies, the ergonomics of the connector and the options preferred by customers in the U.S. and Europe.

As an example, Level 1 and Level 2 charging stations were cited by the automakers to prove how standardization helps raise the sale of electric vehicles and boost customer satisfaction.

In the U.S., the Level 2 stations permit 220-volt charging. There were earlier attempts made to standardize charging for EVs. The U.S. industry had previously agreed to create a standard Level 1 charging plug, known as the J1772, partly due to efforts by SAE International.

Before the plug was standardized, there was no way for an EV owner to determine if the charge port nearby is compatible with the one being driven. SAE and other engineering groups received criticism by industry executives for the sluggish pace of convincing automakers and governments in numerous countries to agree to the combined system. [source: Autonews]

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