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Universal charging system developed for EVs


October 11, 2011

A consortium of auto manufacturers is developing a universal charging system for EVs which is expected to be available from the start of 2013

A consortium of auto manufacturers is developing a universal charging system for EVs which is expected to be available from the start of 2013

While the thought of building a worldwide infrastructure of charging stations for electric vehicles may seem daunting, you know what would make it even more challenging? If each station had to separately cater to each make of EV on the road - think of how many different styles of mobile phone chargers are currently out there, for instance, and then picture that applying to cars. Fortunately a consortium of automakers has developed the Combined Charging System that will allow any one vehicle to charge its batteries using a variety of different charging methods.

The system was developed by Germany's Audi, BMW, Daimler, Porsche, and Volkswagen, working in partnership with America's Ford and General Motors.

It consists of a single interface on the vehicle, which is compatible with methods such as one-phase AC-charging, fast three-phase AC-charging, DC-charging at home and ultra-fast DC-charging at public stations. This is intended to make EV development a less complex process, as vehicles won't need to incorporate multiple inlets, nor will their drivers need to seek out specific charging stations. Instead, all electric vehicles will be able to recharge at all stations.

Charging times for most electrified vehicles with compatible systems is expected to be as little as 15-20 minutes.

The technology also features a charging communication system, along with an electrical and safety architecture, that will work with any vehicle using the system.

The Combined Charging System is being demonstrated at the 15th International VDI-Congress and Exhibition "Electronic Systems for Motor Vehicles," which takes place this Wednesday and Thursday in Baden-Baden.

The Combined Charging System is expected to be ready for deployment in the auto industry in late 2012 and vehicles using the technology will start appearing in 2013.

About the Author
Ben Coxworth An experienced freelance writer, videographer and television producer, Ben's interest in all forms of innovation is particularly fanatical when it comes to human-powered transportation, film-making gear, environmentally-friendly technologies and anything that's designed to go underwater. He lives in Edmonton, Alberta, where he spends a lot of time going over the handlebars of his mountain bike, hanging out in off-leash parks, and wishing the Pacific Ocean wasn't so far away. All articles by Ben Coxworth

Yeah, this will work until someone else comes up with a \"better\" version and markets that!


A better version might entail a quick change battery with a standardized voltage. No waiting for the charging. Solar power comes into play with free energy harvested from the sun. Consumers or small businesses that own rooftop solar will of course be able to pay close to $0 for the price of fuel, for the lifetime of the car. Germany already has the greatest rooftop solar capacity (per capita) of any country, why would they not want to take advantage of it? Oh, I almost missed it... Ford & GM joined the discussion. Wasn\'t it GM who killed the electric car more than a decade ago? Are they still protecting the oil & utility companies?


Having a universal plug for electric vehicles is like having universal plugs in ones house. I think it makes sense.

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