VW Of America, Eaton Announce Combined Quick Charger System

If you have an electric vehicle, unless you have access to a 480-volt Level III station or a Tesla SuperCharger, you’re likely waiting more than an hour to recharge.

However, as these and other solutions roll out, recharge times could come down significantly for various makes of EVs in the U.S.

One of the latest was recently announced by Volkswagen of America and power management company Eaton. This is the installation of one of the first single-port Combined Charging System (CCS) chargers in the U.S. that companies say is capable of recharging most electric vehicles with compatible systems up to 80 percent in as little as 30 minutes.

“Eaton’s collaboration with Volkswagen Group on the development and validation of the Combined Charging System demonstrates our commitment to the introduction of this new standard,” said John Wirtz, business unit manager, Electric Transportation Infrastructure, Eaton. “Our development and implementation of the CCS Quick Charger supports our on-going efforts to move this market forward.”

When the standard was first announced in Spring 2012 charge times were said to be as little as 15 to 20 minutes for some EVs. The CCS charger was installed at VW’s electronics research laboratory in Belmont, Calif.

The Society of International Engineers (SAE) chose the combined system – supported by seven automakers in addition to VW – as its standard for single-port fast charging. The European manufacturing association (ACEA) has endorsed the harmonization of the system for all electric vehicle types in Europe.

The system utilizes a single port and integrates one-phase alternating current (AC) charging, fast three-phase AC charging, direct current (DC) charging at home, and ultra-fast DC charging at public stations.

Eaton’s new DC Quick Charger uses the CCS charge connector to communicate with the electric vehicle’s battery management system to provide direct current flow to charge the battery. The charger housing consists of five individual 10-kwh power drawers offering 20-kwh, 30-kwh, 40-kwh, or 50-kwh configurations.

Commercial CCS charging stations will be available in the coming months with the first vehicles equipped with the new system expected to launch in Europe later this year and the U.S. in 2014.