U.S. Department of Energy - Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy

Clean Cities

New Fast-Charging Standard Released for Electric Vehicles

October 24, 2012

Photo of car plugged in.

Cars like the Chevy Volt could recharge more quickly because of a new rapid-charging standard.
Credit: General Motors

A newly published technical standard could cut charging time for plug-in hybrid (PHEV) and electric vehicles (EV) from eight hours to as short as 20 minutes. SAE International, a global industry association, announced on October 15 that its long-awaited voluntary standard, which was developed in a consensus with industry experts and Energy Department national laboratories, was approved and published.

The standard represents the future of charging technology and Smart Grid interaction, according to SAE International. The standard will help reduce the amount of time a consumer spends at public charging stations and enable consumers to travel greater distances in their PHEVs and EVs before needing to charge. Ford Motor Company, which participated in developing the standard, issued a statement praising the standard because it augments and is compatible with the existing electric vehicle charging standard employed by all automakers in the United States. See the SAE International press release, a standards summary PDF, and the Ford Motor Company press release.