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7 Auto OEMs collaborate on EV fast charging solution


October 12, 2011
By Anthony Capkun

October 12, 2011 – Audi, BMW, Daimler, Ford, General Motors, Porsche and Volkswagen agreed to support a harmonized single-port fast charging approach for use on electric vehicles (EVs) in Europe and the United States. The system is a combined charging approach that integrates all charging scenarios into one vehicle inlet/charging connector, and uses identical ways for the vehicle to communicate with the charging station.

The seven auto manufacturers also agreed to use HomePlug GreenPHY as the communication protocol. This approach, they say, will facilitate integration of the electric vehicle into future smart grid applications. By agreeing upon a single, harmonized DC fast charging system, they believe they will help infrastructure planning, reduce vehicle complexity and improve the ownership experience for EV customers.

The endorsement of the combined charging system was based on reviews and analysis of existing charging strategies, the ergonomics of the connector and the preferences of customers in both the United States and Europe. The harmonized approach—across both continents and all manufacturers—will provide a framework for future infrastructure planning, they say, as well as a communication protocol to assist in the integration of electric vehicles into the smart grids.

Automakers point to the success of Level 1 and Level 2 (for 220V charging) as an example of how standardization will increase the adoption of EVs and increase customer satisfaction. The harmonized electric vehicle charging solution is backward compatible with the J1772 connector standard in the States. Backward compatibility also has been achieved in Europe where the system is based on the IEC 62196 Type 2. The approval of the J1772 standard has given electric vehicle owners the comfort of knowing they can charge at all Level 2 charging stations. Prior to standardization, an EV owner had no way of knowing whether the charge port to which they pulled up was compatible with their vehicle.