U.S., German Automakers Push EV Charging Nissan Bypasses

Ford Motor Co., General Motors Co., Volkswagen AG and five other carmakers are promoting a standard for rapidly charging electric cars that’s at odds with a method used by Nissan Motor Co., the top seller of battery vehicles.

Chrysler Group LLC is the latest to join Ford, GM and Germany’s VW and its Audi luxury brand, Bayerische Motoren Werke AG, Daimler AG and Porsche AG in adopting direct current fast-charging with a single standard plug, said Mike Tinskey, Ford’s associate director of vehicle electrification. The system can re-power vehicles in as little as 15 minutes, he said.

Ford and the other carmakers chose the “DC combo” port because using a single-plug type whether charging at home or at a public facility is less costly and easier for customers, Tinskey said.

“We’re hopeful everyone migrates to a single standard,” he said.

Standards for the nascent electric-vehicle industry aren’t fixed amid expanding sales of cars powered wholly or in part by batteries. While automakers agree that being able to quickly recharge electric vehicles will boost their appeal to consumers, Nissan, Mitsubishi Motors Corp. and Tesla Motors Inc. already use competing technology.

Nissan’s top-selling Leaf and Mitsubishi’s electric i minicar use the “CHAdeMO” system developed and promoted in Japan, which requires different plugs for standard and rapid charging. Tesla, seller of the $109,000 electric Roadster, designed its own single plug DC fast-charger that differs with both the U.S.-German method and that of the Japanese companies.

SAE International, the automotive-engineering society that sets technical guidelines for the industry, selected the “Combined Charging System” touted by Ford and other automakers, Tinskey said.

“The standard is to be officially published this summer,” Ford said in a joint statement today with the seven other carmakers that plan to adopt it. “ACEA, the European association of vehicle manufacturers, has also selected the Combined Charging System as its AC/DC-charging interface for all new vehicle types in Europe beginning in 2017.”

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