Kinda Ugly but Really FastThe J1772 standard for charging electric cars, which we wrote about a few years ago, is getting extended to allow for higher voltage and more amps to flow through, making for faster charging of EV batteries. Unfortunately, it also means that the plug is getting bigger and weirder-looking, but it's still smaller than a traditional gas pump pistol.
The new standard, called DC Fast Charging with a Combined Charging System, is so far supported by Audi, BMW, Chrysler, Daimler, Ford, General Motors, Porsche and Volkswagen, which gives it a very good chance of being adopted.
The main benefit from this new standard is its flexibility.
"The combined charging system integrates one-phase AC-charging, fast three-phase AC-charging, DC-charging at home and ultra-fast DC-charging at public stations into one vehicle inlet. 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."
This system can handle 500 volts and 200 amps (not something you can get at home, but fast charging stations could provide it), meaning that compatible EVs could be almost entirely recharged in as little as 15-20 minutes.
The J1772 standard will be officially published this summer and the first vehicles to use the system are expected in 2013.