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ABB and Fuji move forward on lower cost CHAdeMO electric car fast charging stations

The two companies are developing lower cost solutions for electric car fast charging infrastructure.


Lower cost electric car fast charging stations just took a step forward with a pair of announcements from ABB and Fuji Electric. In ABB's case, they've announced the Terra SmartConnect, a new DC Fast Charging Station with a 20 kilowatt rating. Fuji Electric has announced they've begun manufacturing and shipping their own 25 kilowatt CHAdeMO-compatible DC Fast Charging Station.

Both units are lower power than other CHAdeMO stations, at 20-25 kilowatts versus 50 kilowatts or more. The 25 kilowatt rate is like having 250 hundred watt lightbulbs running at the same time, to put this into context. The higher the charge rate the more quickly can an electric car be charged. The Nissan Leaf and the Mitsubishi i-Miev are compatible with these and other CHAdeMO charging stations. The time to charge from 30% to 80% is roughly a half hour, while with a level 2 (J1772) charging station it can take several hours.

ABB's Terra SmartConnect (SC) is, according to the company, a "breakthrough product designed for convenient fast charging in commercial and office areas" or for those situations where a quick, but not full, charge is needed to get home. It is fully UL-listed, comes in a slim outdoor-rated steel housing, has a full-color, eight inch, intuitive touch-screen user interface, and smart connectivity features for system management. Because of the lower power rating, 20 kilowatts, the SmartConnect is lower priced than the larger stations making it attractive for more scenarios.

“The launch of the Terra SC demonstrates our commitment to deliver the optimal charging solution for every possible location in the network, both in terms of functionality and affordability. With its breakthrough price, low commissioning costs, easy installation and smart design features, the Terra SC creates an even more compelling case for installing EV fast chargers at many more locations throughout the world, providing a strong boost to the development of electric mobility,” said Hans Streng, Senior Vice President and General Manager of ABB’s EV Charging Infrastructure business globally.

The Terra SC is compatible with the Open Charge Point Protocol, an international standard for connecting electric car charging stations into a service network. For example, the ChargePoint network is compatible with the OCPP allowing a charging station network operator to connect OCPP charging stations to that network with few technical challenges. The Terra SC units for delivery next quarter will be CHAdeMO compatible, while units compatible with the SAE DC Fast Charging (a.k.a. Combo Charging System) will be available later in the year.

The Fuji Electric station was announced in January (see Fuji Electric updates 25kw CHAdeMO charging station with slimmer looks). It, too, is UL certified, comes in a slim outdoor-rated steel housing, is CHAdeMO compatible, and can be connected to the ChargePoint network. The charging station is rated at 25 kilowatts, also targeting a lower cost of purchase, installation and operation than larger more powerful charging stations. The first production units are shipping now from the company's facility in Milpitas, CA.

“Since entering the U.S. EV market in March 2012, we have been working diligently to begin local production of our DC Quick Chargers in order to better serve our customers,” said Larry Butkovich, Fuji Electric’s General Manager of EV Systems. “We are now able to offer faster delivery on orders, and respond to evolving market demands and design requirements with greater ease.”

“By using our core technology in the design of our EV charging stations, we were able to leverage our power electronics expertise to guarantee the product will meet Fuji Electric’s quality standards,” said Phil Charatz, President and CEO of Fuji Electric America. “Bringing production to the U.S. is an important milestone for us, and it reinforces our commitment to the EV industry for many years to come.”


Brian Keez (not verified)    April 2, 2013 - 9:15AM

I've used the Fuji charger in San Juan Capistrano and it is a nice unit with a nicely designed CHAdeMO connector. It's quiet and has useful information on the display. It's on the Chargepoint network.