Eight Automakers Agree On Fast Charging System

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.

These automakers will demonstrate the chosen fast-charging technology that will enable the recharging of most electrified vehicles with compatible systems in as little as 15-20 minutes. 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. These automakers believe this initiative 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 Combined Charging System was developed for all international vehicle markets and creates a uniform standard with identical electrical systems, charge controllers, package dimensions and safety mechanisms.

Commercially available combined charging stations 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.

One of those vehicles is the BMW i3, which will be launched in 2013.


  • Shines

    Well I hope Toyota, Honda, Nissan, Subaru and Mitsubishi join in this system. Standardization saves money in the long run. Now if they could get the range of EVs beyond 100 – 200 miles and get the price below $30K we’d see a more significant shift to them.

  • Capt. Concernicus

    Shines,

    I agree, but I’d also like to add that the charging times still need to come down to those of refilling a tank of gas. 15-20 mins. doesn’t seem like much on a nice summer day, but on a bad winter day in Chicago, 15-20 mins. is about 10-15 mins. too long.

  • dutchinchicago

    How does compatibility with existing infrastructure work?

    Can I use a charging station that has the franken plug in my 2012 Volt?

    Can someone who has a car designed for this plug use any of the 9000 charging stations that currently exist?

  • perfectapproach

    It was nice to see GM in the mix. I think the Volt powertrain has some real promise, and if it spreads to other cars (in the same way as it did with the Cadillac), I think charging stations will become as ubiquitous as gas stations. A smart entrepreneur might consider getting a pay-to-charge charging station at his/her gas station. A standardized charging plug across that many auto manufacturer’s will go a long way to reducing the costs of these charging stations.

  • Chris C.

    Congrats to HybridCars on the scoop; this is the first I’d heard that the CCS will be demo’d at EVS26 next week.

    After reading this report (and doing some searching) what is still completely unclear to me is how this will integrate with J1772. The image in this article shows the European IEC connector. Are we still going to be faced with different interfaces for Level 1/2 AC charging in North America versus Europe?

  • Jeff Songster

    But what if you could sit in the warm car for those 15 minutes hanging out playing angry birds… or using your gps to program the next delivery on your route and answer e-mails from your boss and or loved ones… no sweat right… you don’t have to stand there pumping gas… in the cold… or the summer heat either… you can preheat or chill while charging or on house current… right?

  • Capt. Concernicus

    Jeff,

    That’s just ridiculous. Now the charging station has become a place to hang out, play Angry Birds and do emails and the sorts? That’s not what it’s about at all. It’s get in, fill up and get going. Not a teenage hangout. You’re not the only one that needs to be refilled or topped off. It’s not about you. That’s the problem with people these days. People don’t think about the other people around that just want to get in and get out. It’s all about me. To heck with everyone else. And that’s very apparent when you watch people drive.

  • dutchinchicago

    @Capt

    That is not what Jeff was saying. You are behaving like he is camping out at the only charging station in town.

    The current charging stations already show which ones are in use so your GPS can direct you to the closes charging station not in use. If your in car GPS does not do this then there are plenty of smartphone apps that will.

    Also remember that most charging is happening at home so you will rarely need to use a public charging station.

    I agree with Jeff’s point that I rather play angry birds (or get a coffee at startbucks) once a month for 20 minutes than stand in a smelly and noisy gas station for 5 minutes every couple of days.

  • Van

    Before I replaced the receptacles with the three prong version (grounded connector) I had several adapters that would all me to plug in a grounded connector to my old ungrounded receptacles.

    It seems it would be duck soup to “invent” a connector adapter to all my vehicle (say a Leaf, or Prius PHV) to mate with the international design. Time will tell.

  • Robert (electric) Weekley

    The only less than ideal thing I can see from this idea, is the head start of J1772 & CHaDeMo directions. I also wonder if this same plug is an easy fit and upgrade to the current EVSE (Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment / EV Chargers), that are either a Level 1, or Level 2, as well as those current Level 3 CHaDeMo plug chargers?

    If it can be an easy swap – no matter the current power feed (120V, 240V, or 480V), and can also be made easily to adapt to the J1772 stations already, then I think we have a winner!

    So glad that it only took a couple years to get to a single plug for 3 charging performance levels!

  • Robert (electric) Weekley

    The only less than ideal thing I can see from this idea, is the head start of J1772 & CHaDeMo directions. I also wonder if this same plug is an easy fit and upgrade to the current EVSE (Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment / EV Chargers), that are either a Level 1, or Level 2, as well as those current Level 3 CHaDeMo plug chargers?

    If it can be an easy swap – no matter the current power feed (120V, 240V, or 480V), and can also be made easily to adapt to the J1772 stations already, then I think we have a winner!

    So glad that it only took a couple years to get to a single plug for 3 charging performance levels!