The Terra SC charging station. Image courtesy of ABB.

ABB announces astonishingly quick Terra SC recharging stations

ABB, a European power and automation technology company, has announced the availability of the Terra Smart Connect recharging station that can fully charge an electric car in 30 to 120 minutes.

Offered as a cost-effective, direct current charging station for commercial application, the Terra SC is also convenient for those who want to quickly top off their power supply, charging the battery of currently available EVs from 30 to 80 percent in less than 30 minutes.

The Terra SC comes with a stainless steel housing, a full-color 8-inch intuitive touch-screen and the easy connectivity ABB's chargers have come to be known for. It is easily installed at most locations, thanks to thin design and uncomplicated mounting connections that create a highly efficient use of space. In addition, the Terra SC uses the widely available 3-phase 32A input, eliminating the need for a costly grid connection upgrade.

"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 a much more compelling case for installing EV fast chargers at many more locations throughout Europe - providing a strong boost to the development of electric mobility," said Hans Streng, Senior Vice President and General Manager of ABB's Product Group EV Charging Infrastructure.

The extensive connectivity features of the Terra SC include being a web-connected charger with remote assistance, management, servicing and smart updatable software. Optional features consist of RFiD and PIN code authorization, automatic billing for parking operators and a web-based statistics module monitoring user data in support of energy usage reporting.

ABB's connectivity suite supports all existing and future connection standards within the same network. Asked to address the multiple approaches to EV charging in the U.S., Gert Miedema, senior director marketing fast charging products at ABB, told Torque News:

“There are two charging technologies that we need to distinguish here: AC and DC charging," he said. “The standard version of the Terra SC is a DC fast charger for all fast-charge capable cars currently on the market, including the Nissan Leaf, Mitsubishi iMiEV, Peugeot iOn and Citroen C-Zero. Many more fast-charge capable cars are expected to come to the market in the coming years and ABB is firmly committed to supporting all cars, regardless the connection standard they use.”

The company is targeting company car parks, fleet operators, commercial parking lot operators, rental companies, car dealerships, EV infrastructure service providers, roadside meeting places and shopping malls with the Terra SC. Exercise gyms would make an ideal location in urban settings, where people could recharge their cars while working out their bodies.

Furthermore the Terra SC is fully compliant with the Japanese CHAdeMO standard, supported by several major car OEMs. CHAdeMO vehicles are already available in Europe. Cars compliant with the EU and U.S. standards will follow.

ABB will also release a standard version with a 20 kW DC charger and a dedicated company fleet version, featuring two integrated AC connections for 8-hour charging, which will allow three cars to be charged simultaneously.

“These stations will allow the charging of any car supported by mode 1 or mode 2 slow/AC charging, including the Nissan Leaf, Mitsubishi iMiEV, Peugeot Ion, Citroen C-Zero, Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid, Opel Ampera, Chevy Volt, Smart ED, Renault Zoe ZE, Kangoo ZE and Fluence ZE, Mercedes Vito E-Cell, Ford Connect, Think City, Tesla Roadster, and so on,” Miedema added.

It would seem the infrastructure for electric vehicles is growing more quickly in Europe and Japan, where fuel comes at more of a premium. ABB estimates the market for charging infrastructure stations will total $1 billion yearly by 2017.

Having launched Europe's first commercially operated fast-charging station in the Netherlands during May of 2010, ABB has delivered and installed DC charging stations throughout the region. In January, ABB won a tender offer to establish a network of 200 Terra SC’s throughout Estonia, giving the company bragging rights to the world's first nationwide full-coverage DC charging infrastructure.

“ABB expects that in the future several connection standards will exist next to each other. The situation can be compared with the current petrol market, in which diesel, petrol and LPG have coexisted for ages,” Miedema continued. “To truly drive growth of the EV market, ABB firmly believes that its Terra SC chargers should be able to service all cars in the same network, regardless of the connection standard they use. ABB's future-proof connectivity solutions are designed to support all existing and future connection standards and communication protocols.”

Does the Terra SC mark the dawning of the Age of Electric Automobiles? Only time will tell.

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