In May, automakers agreed to develop a single, standard charging system to be used in all electric cars.
A harmonized standard would speed up charging times, eliminating a big barrier to sales of electric cars.
That standard is now developed and ratified by the Society of Automotive Engineering International. Its official name is J1772: SAE Electric Vehicle and Plug in Hybrid Electric Vehicle Conductive Charge Coupler.
It promises to cut the time to charge an electric car to 20-30 minutes.
Developed by 190 experts from automotive charging companies, utilities and other stakeholders, J1772 also combines 240- and 480-volt charging into a single combo plug.
Getting all automakers on board with the standard will also reduce their costs (and hopefully sticker prices), because they'll be able to use "standard parts."
“This new standard reflects the many hours that top industry experts from around the world worked to achieve the best charging solution – a solution that helps vehicle electrification technology move forward,” says Gery Kissel, engineering specialist for Global Battery Systems of General Motors, and chair of the task force that developed the standard. “We now can offer users of this technology various charging options in one combined design.”
Ford, General Motors, Chrysler-Daimler, Audi, BMW, Porsche and Volkswagen will all use the standard charger.
Because the Nissan Leaf and Mitsubishi I-MiEV cars came on the market before this new standard, they have Japan's standard plug.
And what about the thousands of US charging stations that are already built - all with Japan's standard plug?
And China has a different fast-charging standard than Japan.
If wireless charging technologies take off, there won't be a need for a plug at all.