By Ronan Glon
Friday, May 4th, 2012 @ 5:23 am
 
In a rare moment of harmony, automakers from Germany and the United States have agreed to support a new uniform charging system for electric vehicles.

The system is called DC Fast Charging with a Combined Charging. Its main advantage is that it uses a single plug to integrate four types of charging: one-phase AC-charging, fast three-phase AC-charging, DC-charging at home and ultra-fast DC-charging at public stations. The latter is said to be capable of recharging most EVs in as little as 15 to 20 minutes.

It should be noted that charging an EV in 15 minutes is not without risk as many EV batteries produced today are not able to withstand regular fast-charging. Motor Trend contacted General Motors to find out how automakers are planning on dealing with this issue.

"It varies on battery chemistry design and capabilities, but some batteries can be quick-charged multiple times," said Kevin Kelly, a spokesman for General Motors.

The new system will allow electric vehicle owners to conveniently charge their car at just about any charging station regardless of power source. To take things a step further, the system is also designed to be used all around the world; an EV owner in Monaco will use the same plug design as an EV owner in Chicago.

The DC Fast Charging with a Combined Charging system is said to improve charging reliability, provide lower maintenance costs and facilitate the development of the charging infrastructure.

Audi, BMW, Chrysler, Daimler, Ford, General Motors, Porsche and Volkswagen have all voiced their support of the system. It has also gotten the approval of the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE). Finally, the European association of vehicle manufacturers (ACEA) has mandated it for all new vehicles beginning in 2017.

The eight automakers who support the DC Fast Charging with a Combined Charging system will showcase it at the Electric Vehicle Symposium 26 that will take place in Los Angeles, California, from May 6th to May 9th.

The first mass-produced vehicles to use the system will be launched in 2013.