Global Automakers Demo Fast Charging EV Technology

May 16, 2012

Photo of a car with an electric cord on a street.

Eight automakers, including General Motors, have agreed on a standardized fast-charging technology for future versions of cars such as the Chevrolet Volt.
Credit: DOE, Charles Watkins

Eight automakers demonstrated a fast-charging technology for electric vehicles (EV) that can recharge compatible systems in as few as 15-20 minutes. 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 EVs in the United States and Europe.

The automakers gave charging demonstrations during the EVS26 Electric Vehicle Symposium, held in Los Angeles, May 6-9. The combined charging system integrates one-phase AC-charging, fast three-phase AC-charging, DC-charging at home, and ultra-fast DC-charging at public stations into one vehicle inlet. This will allow customers to charge at most existing charging stations regardless of power source, and it may speed more affordable adoption of a standardized infrastructure. The International Society of Automotive Engineers has chosen the Combined Charging System as the fast-charging methodology for a standard that incrementally extends the existing Type 1-based AC charging. The standard is to be officially published this summer. And ACEA, the European association of vehicle manufacturers, has selected the system as its AC/DC charging interface for all new vehicle types in Europe beginning in 2017. Commercially available combined charging units are projected to be available later this year. All committed manufacturers have vehicles in development that will use the Combined Charging System. The first vehicles to use this system will reach the market in 2013. See the General Motors press release.