SAE Approves New Fast EV Charging Standard

SAE Approves New Fast EV Charging Standard

SAE approved a new standard in rapid EV charging systems that could cut plug-in times down to as short as 20 minutes. 

“This new technical standard is a real game-changer,” said Andrew Smart, director of industry relations and business development for SAE International said. “It reflects the advancements in technology within PHEV and EV engineering.”

The new standard SAE approved is called Combo because it combines level 2 and level 3 charging stations into a single unit to allow for significantly faster charging. Level 2 offers 220 volts, but level 3 aims to offer a 500-volt direct current outlet at public charging stations. Less powerful level 1 and level 2 systems use alternating current. The reduced charging times can allow people to travel long distances in their vehicles over a shorter period of time.

There are already similar competing stations called CHAdeMO, mostly located in Japan. Consequently much of the support for those systems lies with Japanese automakers — for example with the Nissan Leaf. That wouldn’t be a problem except for the fact that Combo and CHAdeMO use different connectors that can’t be compensated for with an adapter.

Next year, GM will introduce the Chevrolet Spark EV, which will use the Combo system, but with much of the market’s EVs coming from Japanese automakers, the two systems might end up butting heads.

[Source: Automotive News]