EV fast charging gets boost from GM/BMW testing

  • 11-Jun-2013 04:32 EDT
4EVC300301-PIEN_TerraDCChargingStation53CJ-from ABB.jpg

ABB's Terra 53 CJ fast-charger for the U.S. market is still in development and will be launched later this summer, the company says. Shown is the European version.

The reliability of fast-charging of plug-in vehicles got good grades in a recent joint testing program by General Motors and BMW. Engineers conducted dc fast charging according to the SAE J1772 standard over several days and came away from the experience confident that the charging stations of several suppliers that participated in the test program “will consistently allow an electric vehicle to take on an 80 percent charge in about 20 minutes.” Both hardware and software were tested for conformance to J1772. Participating in the testing were dc fast-charger makers ABB, Aker Wade, Eaton, and IES. “This unprecedented cooperation among OEMs and equipment suppliers demonstrates the maturity of this important technology that will help speed the adoption of electric vehicles around the world,” said Britta Gross, GM Director, Advanced Vehicle Commercialization Policy. The first vehicle models to be equipped for J1772 dc fast charging are the Chevrolet Spark (to be launched imminently in California and Oregon) and the BWM i3 (first half of 2014). GM, BMW, Ford, Chrysler, Daimler, Volkswagen, Audi, and Porsche have committed to adopting the so-called “Combo Connector” as specified in J1772. The Combo Connector allows a vehicle with a Combo mating receptacle in the vehicle to be charged via dc at a fast rate or via ac at a slower rate.

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