European group supports one EV charge port standard

by Ernie Hernandez on September 24, 2011

EV plugs

Standard supported by some member manufacturers

The European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) has proposed a single connection standard for AC and DC charging of all electric vehicles (EVs) sold in European Union (EU) countries beginning in 2017. ACEA is comprised of 15 truck and automobile manufacturers with European interests.

The standard recommended by the ACEA conforms to ISO/IEC (International Organization for Standards/International Electrotechnical Commission) standards. The recommendations recognize that other protocols are currently in use (such as the CHAdeMO standard used by Nissan and Mitsubishi) which is why it allows for so-called Phase 1 to continue through 2017.

According to one report that we have read, not all manufacturers that make up the ACEA are in support of this recommended standard. Renault, Nissan’s alliance partner in Europe, while a member of ACEA reportedly has not committed to adoption of this new recommended standard. Nissan is not a member.

Our thoughts are that ultimately, one connection standard will prevail for low level AC charging and high level DC quick charging. For all of those offering the thought that the CHAdeMO standard has been proven and works for those vehicles being produced currently, we counter that there are many owners of Betamax video cassette players, LaserDisc players and HD-DVD dvd players that also had to move on when other alternatives proved more convenient, technologically superior and/or less expensive.

Whether this proposal by the ACEA will be that ultimate standard or not is yet to be determined. The Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE), another international organization, while not having recommended a their own standard yet, is moving toward the adoption of a J1772 combo-coupler which they feel may be approved as early as next year. One would think that these international organizations, all purporting to have the same purpose, would actually talk to each other, and perhaps work together. Gee… perhaps there is some agenda other than just improving the breed at stake here.

But let’s face it… having two connectors under a filler lid does take up a lot of space. Also, having one slightly larger connector that could suit both purposes would save resources and be easier to accommodate in future designs from all manufacturers. It’s only a matter of time.

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