SAE International is working with the joint-venture initiative looking to deploy a high-powered DC fast-charging network for battery electric vehicles (BEVs) covering long-distance travel routes in Europe. The effort, led by BMW Group, Daimler AG, Ford Motor Co., and the Volkswagen Group (with Audi & Porsche), is looking at power levels up to 350 kW, significantly reducing charging time compared to available systems. The build-up of about 400 ultra-fast-charging sites planned in Europe is based on the Combined Charging System (CCS) standard, which uses a connector that is fully compatible with most current and next-generations BEVs.
SAE’s J1772 task force is looking at the connector rating and changes to support the higher power, faster charging in a way that is backward compatible with existing DC charging capable vehicles. The task force tested the SAE Combo inlet and published the test report on the J1772 about a year ago. The initial current test was at 350 A, but now that the joint venture is looking at 400 A, the plan is to add that test in the future. The task force is working with other organizations, such as UL, addressing cooled cables to support the higher current in conjunction with a voltage bump from 500 to 1000 V.