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Volvo Cars calls for global standardized electric car charging, joins CharIN CCS effort

Volvo Cars believes the global automotive industry should strive towards the introduction of a standardized charging infrastructure for electric cars, said Dr. Peter Mertens, the company’s Senior Vice President for Research & Development.

To support this drive towards a global standard for electric car charging, Volvo Cars is supporting the Charging Interface Initiative (earlier post), a consortium of stakeholders that was founded to establish the Combined Charging System (CCS) (earlier post) as the standard for charging battery-powered vehicles.

Endorsed by the European Directive, the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) and SAE International in the US, CCS is currently the only internationally standardized charging system covering conventional (AC) and different fast charging scenarios with one integrated system approach. It combines single-phase with rapid three-phase charging using alternating current at a maximum of 43 kilowatts (kW), as well as direct-current charging at a maximum of 200 kW and with he future possibility of up to 350 kW.

The CCS includes the connector and inlet combination as well as all the control functions. It also manages communications between the electric vehicle and the infrastructure. As a result, it provides a solution to all charging requirements.

The key features of the Combined Charging System include the following:

AC charging:

  • The electrical interface specification for power transmission, which includes safety-related signalling for AC charging that complies with the international IEC 61851-1 standard.

  • A Type 2 connector in Europe that is compliant with the international IEC 62196-2 standard.

DC charging:

  • The electrical interface specification for power transmission, which includes safety-related signalling for DC charging that complies with the international IEC 61851-23 standard.

  • The Combo 2 connector in Europe, compliant with the international IEC 62196-3 standard.

The communication interface between the electric vehicle and the charging point, is based on the international standard ISO/IEC 15118 and the German DIN SPEC 70121.

The majority of available CCS charging stations and vehicles currently in the market provide direct-current charging at the level of 50 kW.

Volvo Cars will offer a plug-in hybrid variant on every new model as it replaces its entire product portfolio in the coming years. It will introduce a fully electric vehicle by 2019, based on its modular SPA vehicle architecture.

In order to cement the increasing popularity of electric vehicles and ensure that customers fully embrace the technology, Dr. Mertens argues that a simple, standardized, 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. 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 standardized charging system is sorely needed.

—Dr. Mertens

The Charging Interface Initiative 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.



I think Volvo will be a much more dynamic and active member of the standard than GM, who have been pretty unenthusiastic about introducing more than 50kw charging in the Bolt, or supporting the roll out of very fast charging.

I think Audi have got a much more proactive partner here.


Higher charging rate (350+ kW) is required for all future extended range BEVs with 100 kWh to 150 kWh battery pack, such as the new TESLA Model S-100D by end of 2016 and the TESLA Model S-120D by end of 2018.

Improved and larger extended range BEVs with 150 to 300 kWh battery pack will require 700+ kW charging facilities by 2020/2025 or so.

Both will come together with a worldwide standard connection and automated billing to compete with extended range FCEVs and ICEVs.

That's pretty funny, Harvey. Can always count on you for a good laugh. Where are you pulling those numbers from?

Brian Petersen

They are referring to a bunch of ISO and DIN standards and are making no mention of SAE or CHAdeMO (or Tesla), which are the current established standards. Is this building on top of the existing standards, or are they proposing yet another incompatible one??

More incompatible charging stations are not what is needed.

I can tell you one thing; there is zero chance of having a 0.7 MW EV charging station any time soon! Go figure out the current or voltage requirements to do that. Figure out the cross-sectional area of copper needed if you do it at a normal voltage. Even at the common Canadian industrial 3-phase 600 volts we are talking 1,000 amps to do that. Or do you really want the normal average person who is not a qualified electrician handling 20,000 volts so as to get the thickness of the cable down to something reasonable? Not gonna happen!


A 800+ VDC split on 3 cables/conductors could charge an EV as quickly as a 2400 VDC single cable/conductor facility and would not be very difficult to do.

Of course, a 240 kW battery pack could also be temporary split into three 80 kW battery packs during ultra quick charging. That would also not be very difficult to do.

TESLA will announce its S-100D Model soon. Their S-120D Model is a logical progression for 2018. It will be followed by the S-140D Model by 2020 or so.

However, 300+ kW battery packs will soon be installed into e-buses. BYD may be the leader followed by 12+ others by 2020 or so.

Smaller 100 kW or less battery packs for EVs will be phased out between 2020 and 2030 in favour of larger units. However, 100 kW to 150 kW FCs will be enough for FCEVs for a few decades, the exception will be for large buses, trucks and locomotives where larger or multiple units will be used.

Vehicle electrification will progress at a much faster rate in the next decade and so will charging facilities and battery packs.


unless batteries get a lot smaller and lighter, the idea of adding every larger batteries into cars seems crazy to me.
You hardly ever need that range and you are lugging around huge, heavy batteries all the time.

Better to have some class of a PHEV or some kind of range extender, with say a 24 KwH battery.

As for charging power, you need at least 50Kw IMO - think of the charge / drive ratio - say you can drive at 15Kw and want to charge in 1/5 of this time, then you need a 75 KW charger ...
Quite a lot of power, but doable.

To reiterate, it is crazy to add huge batteries to EVs, better a 1 or 2 day battery and some kind of range extender.

If you have a constant, high mileage, get a diesel (or a hybrid).


A 90 kWh pack can weight 1500 pounds, better to put 300 pounds of batteries and 300 pounds of fuel cell and reformer. Reform renewable diesel for more CO2 neutrality. $2 diesel starts to look more like 10 cent per kWh wall power. You carry less weight, no NOX, can refuel quickly and have 600 mile range.

James McLaughlin

Brian, IEC 61851/62196 is essentially synonymous (or really a super set) of SAE J1772. European car companies refer to the IEC version, US car companies refer to the SAE version. Other than automated retires on a GFI trip, there is little difference except that Europe has three phase connectors.

@Harvey, Elon Musk is on record about where range on future Teslas will probably top out.

If you're going to conflate buses and passenger cars without any mention of the fact that you're doing that, fine, but it doesn't paint you in a very flattering light.

This conversation is giving me a strange sense of deja vu.


I like the way buses(BEBs) handle high wattage charging with a robot overhead pressure contact device; perhaps this type of isolation charging can be engineered for large capacity quick charging in the future. Tesla has such a prototype robotic device under testing for BEVs that uses their current standard plug. They have also improved the current carrying capacity of the copper cable by an advanced cooling device.

My concern is there is no quick charge standard for BEVs and how this fractures cooperation and increases the costs of all products which stifles innovation. Quite frankly, I favor the well thought out Tesla standard and the fact they have offered to share the whole design...all phases of the technology. The other automakers could save a bundle and speed up the adoption of EVs Worldwide by giving up their human egos just long enough to see the benefits and make the decision.


I'm somewhat amused by the concern about conductor size.  Technologies like heat-pipe cooling are no mystery, and ultrapure water is a well-understood substance in such uses.  UPW has even been used as a dielectric in high-power capacitor systems.  Trickling UPW through stranded conductors inside vacuum hoses and pulling off the water vapor to condensers is going to handle the high-current feed needs of EV chargers for a while.


Most extended range BEVs will have 100 kWh to 150 kWh battery pack sometime between 2020 and 2025. Those improved battery packs will not weight more than current 85 kWh packs and may even weight a lot less.

The TESLA Model S-100D will be announced soon.

Quick charging 150 kWh packs for a few million EVs will need improvement to current methods but it will be done. TESLA will not be the only one with the solution.

Of course, future electrified large buses and large trucks will have much larger packs starting at 240/300 kWh or 2 x 100 KW FCs or a combination of both?

Too many posters underestimate future batteries and FCs development. The same posters will not accept future 8K TVs, ultra light car bodies, post Lithium Solid State batteries, small e-planes, more efficient electrolizers and H2 storage, more efficient REs and associated storage.

Electrification of transportation means and REs with storage will be accelerated to reduce GHGs and pollution. Look at China, Japan and SO Korea to lead. USA and EU will not be far behind.

Brian Petersen

Wanna try that when it's -20 C?

This was purely a response to HarveyD's suggestion of a 700kW charging station (which I translated to 0.7 MW to put it in perspective).

That is a serious amount of electricity and it either means very high voltage or very high current. High current means thick conductors. Even if you can handle the current with extra cooling of system components, the IsquaredR losses will start adding up. And having to provide active cooling makes the system more complicated and adds more cost and more failure points.

There are standards for handling electricity safely, which must not be violated, and those standards dictate things like insulation, conductor size, etc.

Just bear in mind that a normal average person who is not wearing high-voltage protective equipment is going to be hooking up that charging cord outside in freezing rain and 60 km/h wind. It's gonna happen. A charging station has to be functional but it also has to be robust, reliable, and safe in all the weather conditions that it could be exposed to. It's not a trivial design exercise.


Electric trains/subways can handle high voltage and high current on an all weather 24/7 basis.

The current EV charging method, using charging cables and plug-in handle, inherited from our current liquid fuel vehicles, may have to be dropped in favour of a no-hand charging system. Trolley e-buses used such system for years and it could be improved.

I doubt that our future Miss/Mrs will have to use/touch charging cables at -20C or -30C. We will find better ways?


-20°C temperatures would make it a whole lot easier to cool the batteries, the wiring and all the electronics.  I'd worry about +30°C.


No so sure that -20C is that good for EV batteries. Keeping batteries 'cool' may be positive under certain operations but keeping them too 'cold' degrades their performances.

The e-range of most electrified vehicles (HEVs, PHEVs and BEVs) is substantially degraded at -20C and more so at -30C and -40C.


We're talking about charging, Harvey.  Charging generates heat in the batteries, which must be removed.  It's hard to believe that a Canadian would forget that cold ambient air makes it easier to cool things (especially in high-power operation), but I wonder about you sometimes.


It would be very difficult to change the winter time temperature (downward) during charging time and raise it (upward) during operation hours.

When we have -20C or -30C it is normally there for charging and operation hours unless you want to leave your fully charged electrified vehicle in the garage for a few days.

Pre-heating the battery pack compartment + adequate or more insulation could help to reduce degradation on very cold days. Heating the steering wheel and occupied seats only may also help.


I wonder sometimes if I have been asleep for a few decades

But looking out the window I see the same old street wiring.
It's come a long way since the 1920's (but recognisably similar) My mind boggles at the thought of the changes required to fast charge at 100A (240v here) let alone 350A.

Either at home or in multiple at service centers.
Distributed (R.E.) makes perfet sense.

But of course today we have three to five times that amount of energy use in transport flowing past us.invisible to the eyes (when their not bleeding)

With electric propulsion being quite easily 300% HIGHER EFFICIENCY and then only when really needed - I.E. - not when stopped or gridlocked.

Now my head is really spinning!

Brian Petersen

You haven't been asleep. Most residences have 100 or 200 amp 240 volt single phase service. A home charging system delivering 30 to 40 amps (about 7 kW charging power) can be accommodated but trying to deliver more than that gets expensive. But for how most people drive, this is sufficient for most people for an overnight charge to do their next day's rounds. The issue then becomes only the quick-charging stations on motorways. These obviously have access to higher current. No doubt the charging rate has room to go up from where it is today (100-ish kW for Tesla stations) but the size of the cable and/or the voltage that has to be handled goes up with this increase in power - and batteries themselves have limits to how quickly they can accept a charge. The earlier suggestion of "700 kW" is patently ridiculous - as is the suggestion that we fill the roads with overhead streetcar wires.

By the way, yes, the subway system in Toronto (and elsewhere) is fed with power from the third rail, generally this is DC at 750 volts or more, which is extremely dangerous if someone were to come in contact with it. It's kept away from public (and wildlife) access - and the entire rail system that uses this type of power supply has to be separated from public (and wildlife) access.


Typo 350KW or 1,458 Amps @ 240V !
Let me outa here.


To bring these levels of fast charging to the house is just not going to happen.

To build that level to the node might be possible however the proper solution is to reduce the consumption side.This includes lightweight, high efficiency and energy conservation.

Overbuilding of infrastructure is quite insane.
Aside being technically impossible on any meaningful time frame.

It sits beside the 300KW - 1000KW vehicles that the 'I can have anything'- luxury vehicle owners mentality encourages.

I guess that dedicated fast charging stations are a different proposition and looking forwards several generations could compliment several technology generations hence, support advanced battery and charging abilities.

I assume that building ordinary consumer vehicles with that level of capability will be 10-20 years away optimisticly.

We probably could produce a 'rough as' or $6M version today.

My point being - it doesn't sound too fanciful to realise such a vehicle as the internal transmission distances are small. But the economic justification and indeed the enabling technology and infrastructure doesn't just 'appear from nowhere overnight.

It may work in limited bits of well developed electrified economies, but that is a very small part of today's transport markets.
It is of limited or no interest to today's ordinary consumer transport requirements.


Too many posters over worry about future ground transport electrification limits. Electricity, H2 and REs can be generated/created in huge quantities for as long as the sun is there or for another 5+ billion years or so.

High voltage underground domestic distribution with 400Amps, 115/230 VAC in every home, is a very well developed low cost technology. No ugly (breakable) cables or poles are required unless you live in the rear country.

Public DC charging facilities will eventually be increased between 10X and 100X times home units. Future extended range BEVs will automatically regulate the maximum rate of charge the on-board batteries can take. The intelligent charging facilities will adjust and charge accordingly. Users may have to pay more for ultra quick charges.

Current TESLAs quick charge units will be antiques by or before 2030.


Nobody's talking about bringing 100+ kW charging to the home.  It's utterly un-necessary.  You can completely charge a Tesla overnight at 240 VAC, 50 A.  A complete overnight charge from a typical day's driving requires just a fraction of that.

Fast charging is for vehicles on long trips, and perhaps for quick top-ups when running low on a long day's set of errands.  For almost everything else, your basic PHEV rig (240 VAC @ 16 A) suffices; that will fully charge a Tesla P85 in a day.


Agree that ultra high capacity charging facilities will be for Public Highway Stations and larger e-vehicles such as e-Trucks, e-Buses, some e-Locomotives, e-Planes, e-heavy machinery etc with up to 300+ kWh battery packs.

The average, short and mid-range good weather BEVs with less the 100 kWh battery pack and PHEVs, can re-charge overnight on smaller home facilities, if available. That would be for about 50% in most countries.

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