EU Chooses Sides in DC Fast-Charge Standards Fight

Combo Connector

by | Aug 14, 2013

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Combo ConnectorThe SAE Combo DC fast charging station has won another ally in the war over DC fast-charge standards: the European Parliament.

On one side of the battle is European and US automakers, including Audi, BMW, Chrysler, Daimler, Ford, General Motors, Porsche and Volkswagen, which last year agreed to use the SAE Combo DC fast charging connector (pictured) on electric vehicles in Europe and the US.

On the other side are Japanese companies such as Toyota, Nissan, Mitsubishi, Fuji Heavy Industries and Tokyo Electric Power — Japan’s biggest utility — which use the CHAdeMO charging standard.

Now the European Parliament has proposed to only support CHAdeMO charging connectors being installed until the end of 2018. This means beyond 2018, EU member counties would install SAE chargers. There are currently more than 650 CHAdeMO chargers already installed in Europe, with more than 1,000 slated for deployment by the end of 2013, the draft proposal says.

The European Parliament offers this explanation for ending its support for both charging standards: “It is important to set a time-limited transitional period where both systems can be deployed, with the final objective to find a single standard as indicated in the Commission proposal.”

In June, BMW and General Motors engineers said they passed a milestone in adopting the SAE standard for DC fast charge stations, charging pre-production versions of the BMW i3 and the Chevrolet Spark EV using stations developed by various suppliers.

GM and BMW say this industry-coordinated early confirmation of DC fast charge hardware and software will accelerate efforts to roll out SAE Combo DC fast charge infrastructure in the coming months. Charging station manufacturers that participated in the testing included ABB, Aker Wade, Eaton and IES.


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