SAE playing key roll in EV Fast Charging by 2013
Unlike Washington politics where universal acceptance and consensus appear to be an oxymoron, SAE International is playing a key roll in bringing together global automakers, especially American and European standards committees, to agree on a single yet compatible fast-charging system for EVs.
For the record, 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. This allows for all four charging options, including the following: 120VAC; 220VAC; DC at Home; Ultra-Fast DC at Public Charging Stations.
Now, global automakers from the United States and Germany will demonstrate fast-charging technology, with live-charging demonstrations conducted during the Electric Vehicle Symposium 26 (EVS26) May 6-9. Behind the scenes, though, the International Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) has done more than just choose the Combined Charging System, it builds global consensus on what already is working and acceptable.
It was just about a week ago that the SAE World Congress 2012 met in Detroit’s Cobo Center. While there were plenty of charging stations, including the wireless system displayed by Delphi (Read: Delphi Go Wireless EV charger in full regalia at SAE World Congress ), it seems the best news was being held in reserve for the Electric Vehicle Symposium.
Fact is, without the standards publication power of SAE, the automakers will likely follow similar but diverging paths, much like Washington politics, in my opinion; and that would not be good the budding EV industry.
Also for the record, I worked in the GM studio at the time the first Type-1 plug was being developed. It was obvious then the need for a common plug was as great as it was to fill tanks with gasoline; especially when diesel was also available, and confusion could have reigned. Imagine putting the wrong fuel into a vehicle.
In this case, the problem of fuel is measured in terms of voltage and time to charge. For example, the Type-1 plug that was approved handles 120V and 220V, but single phase AC. Since many EVs require 6-8 hours, we knew that faster charging required 3-phase power which does not exist in residential areas, but does exist in zoned commercial areas. Thus, it also requires a unique plug. It is the voltages that would be considered dangerous, though.
So far, 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.