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New vehicle charging standard will juice up electric car market say manufacturers

by Colin Ricketts 12 Oct 2011
New vehicle charging standard will juice up electric car market say manufacturers

Charging an electric car via Shutterstock

A coalition of major motor companies has announced an agreement to standardise the charging points they use for their electric vehicles across two continents. German auto giants Audi, BMW, Porsche, Volkswagen, and Daimler have joined forces with Ford and General Motors to announce the synchronisation of both their charging hardware and the way vehicles 'talk' to the charging points.

"Agreeing upon a single, harmonized DC fast charging system, we believe will help infrastructure planning, reduce vehicle complexity and improve the ownership experience for electric vehicle customers," a statement from the group says.

Ford Focus Electric debuted at the 2011 Canadian International Auto Show on February 17, 2011 in Toronto

Ford Focus Electric © Zoran Karapancev / Shutterstock

The manufacturers have all signed up to use the HomePlug Green PHY system of communication with vehicles, a so-called 'smart grid' approach which attempts to reduce power consumption by targeting power generation and supply where and when it is most needed using information technology.

The seven strong group says that there are several gainers from their new deal: car builders will have a simpler job making new electrically charged vehicles; power suppliers too will have less to worry about as they try and please all vehicle owners, who say the group, will also benefit from a standardised system.

And, the new charging system does not render obsolete those which have gone before. Users of two previously separate standardised systems in Europe and America will be able to plug their vehicles into the new system.

Electric vehicle ownership will become more attractive, say the seven car manufacturers, if any owner knows they can pull up to any charging point - petrol is, after all, universally compatible - knowing they can juice up their car.


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