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US, German Automakers Adopt Fast-Charging Standard at Odds with Nissan, Toyota

Audi, BMW, Chrysler, Daimler, Ford, General Motors, Porsche and Volkswagen have agreed to standardize a single-port fast charging approach, called DC-fast charging with a Combined Charging System, for use on electric vehicles in Europe and the United States – bypassing the CHAdeMO charging standard already used by Japanese cars including the Nissan Leaf.

The combined charging system agreed by the European and American automakers   integrates one-phase AC-charging, fast three-phase AC-charging, DC-charging at home and ultra-fast DC-charging at public stations, all in one vehicle inlet. The automakers says this will allow customers to charge at most existing charging stations regardless of power source and may speed more affordable adoption of a standardized infrastructure. The first vehicles using this technology will be launched to the market in 2013, the companies say.

The International Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) chose the Combined Charging System as its fast-charging method; the standard will be published this summer. ACEA, the European association of vehicle manufacturers, has also selected the Combined Charging System as its AC/DC-charging interface for all new vehicle types in Europe beginning in 2017.

The eight automakers say the plug will standardize charging across the US and Europe, reducing development and infrastructure complexity and cost-of-ownership for customers. However, GreenCarReports.com writes the plug is incompatible with current Japanese models that use the CHAdeMO charging system. In March 2010, Toyota, Nissan, Mitsubishi, Fuji Heavy Industries and Tokyo Electric Power all agreed to CHAdeMO as the standard for electric vehicle recharging stations.

CHAdeMO is an abbreviation of “CHArge de MOve,” which translates to “charge for moving.” It also is a pun for “O cha demo ikaga desuka” in Japanese, which means “Let’s have a tea while charging.”

While SAE’s decision rejects the CHAdeMO standard, Nissan has already launched a Leaf marketing campaign in Europe, Torque News reports. As part of the campaign, tne city will win a network of 30 CHAdeMO quick charge stations.

Utility NRG Energy has said it install 200 quick-charge stations in California over the next four years, and Torque News reports that these will initially follow the CHAdeMO standard – but that the SAE standard will be incorporated once carmakers start using it in their vehicles.

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One thought on “US, German Automakers Adopt Fast-Charging Standard at Odds with Nissan, Toyota

  1. I use a CHAdeMO connector at least twice per week. I know that it works and I know that Mitsubishi and Nissan have mastered rapid charging. Nissan has mastered it without a heavier, complex active cooling system, which is more advanced than any other manufacturer.

    The companies behind the SAE combo connector have no cars that have demonstrated the ability to quick charge. Couple that with a new, untested protocol and I think we have a recipe for more negative press for electric vehicles. I just don’t see these guys getting it right the first or second time. They are all newbies to ev’s and most don’t seem too serious about it.

    Based on what I’ve seen, Nissan is the only major manufacturer that is serious about having a real 100% electric line-up. They sell CHAdeMO vehicles worldwide, right now. No other manufacturer has even flirted with competing with them in scale or distribution. That fact alone should tells us what the stand will be.

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