In an effort to streamline the process of charging electric vehicles, seven major automakers - Audi, BMW, Daimler, Ford, GM, Porsche and Volkswagen - have agreed to a single rapid charging system.
At an announcement made at the Society of German Engineers’ 15th International Electronic Systems for Motor Vehicles Conference yesterday, the car companies signed the Combined Charging System -- which will give all upcoming EVs the same charging interface. The interface will be capable of one-phase AC charging, rapid three-phase AC charging, at-home DC charging or ultra-fast DC charging at public charging stations. This essentially means that there won't be a separate wire for rapid charging, or home/wall outlets.
The automakers also agreed to use HomePlug Green Phy as the communication protocol. This method will facilitate the integration of electric cars into smart grid applications.
According to Green Car Congress, "The harmonized electric vehicle charging solution is backward compatible with the J1772 connector standard in the US. Backward compatibility also has been achieved in Europe where the system is based on the IEC 62196 Type 2. The approval of the J1772 standard has given electric vehicle owners the comfort of knowing they can charge at all Level 2 charging stations. Prior to standardization an EV owner had no way of knowing if the charge port they were pulling up to was compatible with their vehicle."
In the end, the universal plug will help both owners and manufacturers by lowering costs and accelerate the rate of charger installation -- making the car more accessible for everyone.