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Car makers team up to demonstrate universal fast electric car charging

BMW, Volkswagen, GM, Ford, Chrysler and others will team up in May to demonstrate a universal fast charging system for all electric cars

During the upcoming Electric Vehicle Symposium 26 (EVS26) being held May 6-9 in Los Angeles, CA, a diverse group of automobile manufacturers including the three formerly known as “The Big Three” in the US, will demonstrate that the debate over how to charge electric cars is now over. According to a press release by BMW, the eight manufacturers will all participate in a joint display that shows how the new single connection system, called DC-fast charging with a Combined Charging System, will enable all electric cars in the US and Europe to charge using a single, universal plug. Missing from the group is Nissan, makers of the Leaf, and some other electric car companies. Toyota is also absent, but with the group being this large and diverse it is sure to carry the weight of consensus.

Multiple Power Sources, One Plug
Although there is more than one type of power supplies being used to charge electric cars worldwide, this system allows for automakers to bring the port into a standard configuration. The International Society of Automobile Engineers (SAE) is planning to set the standard and release the official publication this coming summer 2012. In addition, the European Association of vehicle manufacturers (ACEA) has selected the interface and will make it the standard for all electric vehicles starting in 2017.

Cordless May Be Coming
Interestingly, before the standards are even set progressive companies are already planning to offer cord-less electric vehicle charging systems. That may not be in conflict with this standard however, because cordless charging is unlikely to be high speed and may be more expensive. Therefore, homeowners may benefit by being able to have a home charging system with a cord connection and still use cordless charging on the road to top off batteries or add to the charge while on a brief stop, say to pick up a prescription. Even fast charging with a cable can take up to 20 minutes.

Look for more automakers to join this group of eight in adopting standard electric vehicle components to reduce cost and speed adoption.

Photo by John Goreham