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:
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.
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.