Global Standard Charge Plug For Electric Vehicles

charging cord interface gm image

Electric vehicle charging cord interface. Image credit:GM-Volt.

Everyone has experienced the frustration of cell phone designers changing the recharging interface (wire-to-phone) on almost a yearly basis. It is as if the intent is to make more money from expensive replacement recharging units needed if the original becomes lost or left behind at a friend's house.

With the future of transportation looking to be increasingly wired, we have some good news on the "common plug" front. Leading car makers, meeting in Europe this week, have agreed on a standard plug interface. Read on for details.Via Google News/AFP:-

Leading automotive and energy companies have reached agreement on a common "plug" to recharge electric cars, a spokeswoman for German energy company RWE said Sunday.

The three-point, 400-volt plug, which will allow electric cars to be recharged anywhere in a matter of minutes,

Makers participating in the consensus standard include: Volkswagen, BMW, Ford, General Motors, Fiat, Toyota and Mitsubishi.

GM provides a nice explanation here, regarding a proposed SAE standard.

People will charge their cars either with 110 or 220 V electric lines, and some cars in the future may even accept higher voltages. Current will also vary from 8 amps in the case of the Volt at 110 V to up to as high as 70 amps or greater. There will also be public charging stations to deal with. Since the far end of the cord will thus have many different plugs it is important to keep end that goes into the car the same.

Green AutoBlog points out a wrinkle that needs to be worked out yet.
It's not clear at this time if the same plug standard will be adopted by the task force working on the SAE J1772 standard. That group will be meeting this week in Detroit during the Society of Automotive Engineers World Congress

Everyone loves a sexy start-up company like Tesla, for example. As a practical matter, however, you will not get international consensus standards like this one emerging from small companies, and especially not from new ones. They lack the overhead budget and time to participate in consensus standards. So, it's either got to come from government or from a volluntary consensus standards process like this one.

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