ABB Launches SAE Combo / CHAdeMO Terra 53 Fast Charger in US

4 years ago by Eric Loveday 26

Terra 53 Multi-Standard Fast Charger

Terra 53 Multi-Standard Fast Charger

ABB choose the Plug-In 2013 conference in San Diego, California to announce that its Terra 53 multi-standard fast charger just launched in North America.

ABB's Terra Smart Connect Duo Supports Both DC And AC Charging Equally (click to enlarge)

ABB’s Terra Smart Connect Duo Supports Both DC And AC Charging Equally (click to enlarge)

This 50-kW unit meets both SAE Combo and CHAdeMO standards, which means that it can charge all of the US quick-charge capable electric vehicles (aside from Teslas).

Terra 53 launched in Europe many moons ago (Spring of 2013), but is just now making the trek to the US.

The Tearr 53 SAE Combo-only version will be available in November.

The multi-standard SAE Combo / CHAdeMO unit will be available in “early 2014.”

It’s this multi-standard version that we think should be installed at all future public quick-charge sites in the US.  The SAE Combo version would be useful for BMW and Chevy dealerships to install and possibly even Volkswagen when the e-Golf hits US shores in 2015.

Cal Lankton, Director of ABB’s Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure business in North America, stated:

“Meeting both CHAdeMO and SAE Combo standards in a single fast charger provides one simple solution to meet the needs of existing and future EV drivers.  The Terra 53 concept is exciting, because driver confidence in charger availability is very influential for EV adoption rates.”

Additional press release info follows:

ABB Press Release

ABB Press Release

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26 responses to "ABB Launches SAE Combo / CHAdeMO Terra 53 Fast Charger in US"

  1. kdawg says:

    Does this cost more or the same as a single-standard charger?

    1. Eric Loveday says:

      More….of course. Though pricing on commercial units usually aren’t released by the manufacturer. The multi-standard is approx. $3,000 more than the regular single standard unit.

      1. kdawg says:

        Hmmm, I wonder how much more it would cost to add L2 AC charging as well. Then they could stay it does charge every EV. (Tesla comes w/adapters).

        1. Eric Loveday says:

          They have one of those units available too…I’ll see if I can find it

          Edit: No luck on that search. It will be available, but only as an option and there aren’t images or pricing info yet.

      2. io says:

        I think the difference will be much more substantial, today at least 5x more.
        See my reply to Jeff further down:
        http://insideevs.com/abb-launches-sae-combo-chademo-terra-53-fast-charger-in-us/#comment-170373

  2. That’s not the unit that’s in San Diego. The CHAdeMO is a separate charger built by Sumitomo for Nissan, distributed by AeroVironment and installed by NRG/eVgo here in sunny and beautiful San Diego.

    The ABB unit has the Frankenplug only, and is specifically a European unit with 400 volt three phase requirements, which required a special non-US specification 400 volt transformer to power it. This was done at the request of GM and BMW so that they could charge their cars (Spark EV and i3) during the “Plug In 2013” convention this week.

    It is not required for NRG/eVgo to install, as the California settlement requirements have not been met for two UL listed Frankenplug chargers from different manufacturers plus one Frankenplug car, and then six months of time starting when those requirements are met.

    This ABB unit (nor likely the transformer) is not UL listed.

    1. Eric Loveday says:

      True…there’s not a single Terra 53 installed in the US. ABB announced the US launch of it in San Diego. They will be installed soon, as the article states November or early 2014 depending on which version and will be UL listed by then, even if that requires modifications by ABB.

      The first image (or top image in the post) goes directly with the press release from ABB.

      The installed unit in San Diego is this one:

      1. Yes, I was there at the launch party.

        1. Eric Loveday says:

          Say hello to huge images today!!!

        2. Taser54 says:

          Whatever you do, don’t cross the streams.

  3. Bloggin says:

    There are more than enough Japanese standard chargers for the current Leaf vehicles before Nissan upgrades to the US standard, Combo Charger.

    There may be a very few duel mode chargers installed, but with the transition to Combo charging in full swing in the US and most of the world, it makes sense that most all future public charging sites install the Combo Charger only unit.

    It would benefit Nissan to offer the Combo Charger as an option in the states for 2014, so they don’t continue to offer their Betamax/Japan only charger that will soon be extinct in the US and the rest of the world.

    1. David says:

      Where do these pro frankenplug people come from? Frankenplug combo has zero vehicles and one charge station in the entire nation, vs 35,000 Nissan leafs and hundreds of CHAdeMO charge stations. Yet CHAdeMO is Betamax? Give me a break.

      GM doesn’t even provide public L2 charging at their dealerships. Nissan is providing public L2 for free at all their dealerships and continues to roll out public CHAdeMO charging as well.

      GM won’t even sell the Spark anywhere except CARB states and even there, it will be interesting if they bother to offer public frankenplug charging. And they’re only selling 100/month. Yet we’re lead to believe that frankenplug combo will take over so overwhelmingly that Nissan should put everything on hold and follow GMs lead.

      Ya, right.

      1. MTN Ranger says:

        The Nissan dealers by me don’t allow L2 charging unless you bought the car from them. They actually block the EVSEs. I have charged at Chevy dealerships even though I didn’t buy my car from them. It isn’t always black and white.

      2. Brian says:

        Bloggin in particular likes to push the idea that SAE CCS is imminent and that all manufacturers, including Nissan, have plans to switch over. He has commented on many threads on this site, rarely if ever backing up his assertions. He almost never responds to other commenters either.

        At the same time, I find the overuse of the term “frankenplug” condescending and obnoxious. Yes, we get it, you’re pro CHAdeMO. Truth be told, so am I, and for similar reasons. But I also think that the SAE CCS plug has some advantages too. For example, it can fit in the same footprint as a gasoline fuel door. CHAdeMO needs either one large door or two smaller ones.

        In the end, the whole point of these combined chargers is to put the whole argument to bed. If Bloggin wants to buy a Spark EV with CCS and you want a Leaf with CHAdeMO, great! Go buy your car. You can debate which is better while you’re both charging off the same charger!

      3. Spec says:

        It is call ‘pragmatism’. Look it up.

        The Big 3 US automakers (GM, Ford, and Chrysler) have all backed SAE-Combo. In addition, all the German car-makers (VW, Daimler-Benz, and BMW) also back SAE-Combo. With that many backers, SAE-Combo wins. End of story.

        And deploying chargers is really going to require some government involvement . . . which standard do you think the US government will back . . . the standard adopted by ALL 3 big US automakers or the one backed (half-heartedly) by Japanese automakers?

        1. io says:

          Except… CHAdeMO has more backers.
          http://www.chademo.com/wp/members/

          Your point was?

          1. Spec says:

            A list of small foreign car companies that don’t even make Chademo cars is completely pointless. The Big 3 US automakers and all the German automakers are much more important. My point stands.

            1. io says:

              So on one hand, you want to count most US and German manufacturers, and on the other, you dismiss Honda, Toyota, Hyundai/Kia etc as “small” and/or because they don’t sell CHAdeMO cars in the US today?

              Your previous post was claiming CCS had more support (“With that many backers, SAE-Combo wins”). Proved wrong, you shift focus on manufacturers actually making quick-chargeable cars.

              That’s fair, but again it doesn’t support your assertions: none has sold any CCS car yet, and most have no plan to introduce any.
              It’s hard to win if you don’t play. And when you do play, it’s hard to catch up if your opponent is outselling you 25 to 1 (the current ratio Leaf to Spark EV).

      4. Suprise Cat says:

        I bet he/she is a Ford agent, because always hailing the Ford fake EV crap.

  4. Jeff says:

    So much anti SAE sentiment on this site!! Can’t people look a little further than a few months down the road? With essentially all American and European automakers backing the SAE standard, it’s a matter of when, not if, the North American market will transition. The debate over the merits of the two standards is over for better or worse, the producst from GM, BMW, VW and others are rolling down the pipeline. It may be a few years before SAE vehicles outpace Chademo, but to call any shots based on what’s on the road now is ridiculous given that EVs are still far less than 1% of the market.

    The Chademo crowd should be excited about dual-standard units as this means Chademo support will be further secured into the future. If anything, I bet Nissan will start pushing dual-standard units. Chademo-only stations will be at risk of being replaced somewhere down the road, whereas dual-standard stations can ensure Leaf owners have somewhere to fast charge well into the future. $3000 is small compared to the $50K and up it costs to get a DCFC and put it in the ground.

    1. Spec says:

      I think people who have an investment in chademo get a bit emotional about it.

    2. io says:

      Er, you might want to check for a forgotten zero on that 3000$ figure.
      CHAdeMO QCs start at 15k$. The cheapest dual-standard one is over 30k$ (installation not included in both cases, expected to be about the same anyway).

      Obviously, dual-standard QCs seem like a workable compromise, but what’s enraging is that it’s an ok solution to a completely artificial problem. It ends up costing more to us drivers and/or taxpayers, for zero benefit whatsoever.

      SAE-CCS needlessly and very significantly delays and increases the cost of infrastructure, casts FUD on EVs etc etc… which I suspect is exactly why GM and others late-comers to the EV party are pushing for it. For strategical and political reasons only, to buy them time to catch up.

      Also, last I checked, Tesla was American, and Renault, Peugeot Citroen and Volvo were European… aren’t they?

      1. Jeff says:

        Extra $3K for a dual standard unit was from Eric Loveday’s post above. If you’re getting $15k to $30k, you’re not comparing apples to apples. The bulk of the cost of a DCFC is the power electronics. The cable and the communications equipment required to support a second standard would never ad $15k, that’d be crazy! Your $15k unit is probably a 25kW unit or something like that. The $3K figure quoted by Eric is much more realistic and a small price to pay to ensure compatibility, especiaily considering the number of automakers who have come out in support of the new standard.

        I said *essentially* all American and European automakers. Tesla’s standard follows the same comms protocol as SAE, just a different connector so an adaptor becomes trivial [1].
        Peugeot and Citroen do sell rebranded versions of the iMIEV in limited numbers. Otherwise, they are together with the rest of the European auto industry under the ACEA (Peugeot Citroen = PSA):

        “All current members of ACEA support the Combined Charging System for Europe: BMW, DAF, Daimler, Fiat, Ford of Europe, General Motors Europe, Hyundai Motor Europe, Jaguar Land Rover, MAN, Porsche, PSA, Renault, Scania, Toyota Motor Europe, Volkswagen, Volvo Cars, and AB Volvo.” [2]

        [1]: http://ev.sae.org/article/11923
        [2]: http://electricdrive.org/index.php?ht=a/GetDocumentAction/id/32209

  5. Aatheus says:

    Yes! Very much yes! All public DCFCs should be dual-format, since it’s when, not if, SAE CCS vehicles start coming out. It’s an unfair analogy, but this reminds me of the DVD+R/DVD-R silliness of 10 years ago. All DVD-RW drives support both now. This is less likely with EVs, so give us dual-format chargers instead!

  6. Neither my Ford Focus Electric or Fiat 500e have support for any kind of fast charging, sadly. But I’ll be buying a Leaf with QC this year and a Spark with QC as soon as it’s available. So I’ll have a leg firmly in each camp. But my real hope is a single standard soon because higher install costs to support two standards in one country is really pretty silly, especially in the critial first few years when every available charge point counts toward greater public acceptance of electric vehicles.

    (if y’all are wondering what kind of illness I have to buy so many EVs… I like to share).

  7. Scott says:

    I have Chademo now, but realize SAE will win for simplicity’s sake. That should be a fairly easy retro-fit in the future. I’m sure car shops will be able to make the switch with the physical outlet and software update. Not certain any other hardware has to change on the car.