Calls for electric vehicle standardised charging infrastructure to be introduced
Volvo Cars has joined the Charging Interface Initiative and other automakers calling for a standardised charging infrastructure for battery-powered vehicles.
MANY CAR MAKERS PRODUCING battery-powered electric vehicles have already singed up to support the Charging Interface Initiative which is attempting to create a standardised charging infrastructure for the world. Tesla, which is pushing ahead with its own Supercharger network, hasn’t joined the initiative which already counts BMW i, Daimler, Audi, Ford, GM and Porsche among its members.
And now Volvo has pledged its support with Dr Peter Mertens, Volvo’s head of R&D saying, the uptake of electric vehicles relies on a standardised network of charging stations. Volvo will release a full electric vehicle in 2019, but already has twin-engine systems for its XC90.
In order to cement the growth in electric vehicle sales, Dr Mertens argues that a simple, standardised, fast and global charging infrastructure is needed.
“We see that a shift towards fully electric cars is already underway, as battery technology improves, costs fall and charging infrastructure is put in place,” said Dr Mertens. “But while we are ready from a technology perspective, the charging infrastructure is not quite there yet. To really make range anxiety a thing of the past, a globally standardised charging system is sorely needed.”
This standardised charging system is being called the, Combined Charging System, which will offer both regular and fast-charging capabilities. It combines single-phase with rapid three-phase charging, using alternating current at a maximum of 43kW, as well as direct-current charging at a maximum of 200kW and the future possibility of up to 350kW – all in a single system. Currently, only the Tesla Supercharger system can hit 200kW delivering a 200km range recharge in just 40min.
The Charging Interface Initiative last met in late 2015 and is currently in the process of drawing up requirements for the evolution of charging-related standards and certification for use by car makers around the globe.
“We are very happy to support and be involved in the setting of standards for electric vehicle charging systems. The lack of such a standard is one of the main obstacles for growing electric vehicles’ share of the market,” said Dr Mertens.