Chargeway’s Nifty Charging Signs Are Color-Coded And Effective

JUN 27 2018 BY MARK KANE 11

Chargeway from Portland, Oregon would like to help consumers understand the differences between various charging standard sand power levels through special labels.

There are three main DC fast charging standards in the U.S. (CHAdeMO, CCS Combo and proprietary Tesla) as well as the J1772 AC plug. On top of that, power output of the charging stations widely differ. Similarly, a car is equipped with a particular DC inlet and can handle only up to some power level.

Chargeway makes it more easily identifiable, especially for newbie EV users, who need only to recognize right charging station by color of their charging standard and a number that corresponds to power output.

  • J1772 (AC) and CCS Combo (DC) – Green
  • CHAdeMO -Blue
  • Tesla – Red

Such labels could be handy, but first a single labelling system would need to become popular and found on charging stations and new cars.

“Chargeway developed the schematic last year. Now it is working with local utilities, car-dealer groups, and non-profits in Portland to roll out its labels on local charging stations and offer them to electric car drivers in a pilot program later this year to see if drivers find it helpful. The labels will roll out this year, and Chargeway may deploy them on a broader scale next year.”

Feel free to leave a comment below on your thoughts on these color-coded labels by Chargeway… or maybe we just need a new, simplified charging standard to rule them all?

Chargeway – color-coded charging standard/power levels

Source: Chargeway, Green Car Reports

Categories: Charging

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11 Comments on "Chargeway’s Nifty Charging Signs Are Color-Coded And Effective"

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This seems stupid. J1772 should have a completely different color from CCS because they are inherently different things. If somebody in a Volt, for example, thinks they can use a CCS station because it is green they are going to be sorely disappointed when they try to plug it in.

J1772 is a subset of CCS, so for cars with CCS it makes sense. Volt owners (and others with only J1772) would learn pretty quickly they can only use green 1 and 2.
A bigger issue is colorblind accessibility. A person with red-green colorblindness would have a hard time distinguishing between Telsa and CCS stations without some other indicator.

Why not simply show the standard and actual power in a big label? Like “CCS 50” or “CCS 100”. It would give more accurate information without any need to learn new color and numbering systems.

These simple changes have been pointed out to the author multiple times. Here are my suggestions: I’ve posted my many issues with this method previous with the author. In summary: 1) color coding is ok, but I would combine color with shape. Human factors issues. Like ski slopes, use a blue circle, a yellow diamond and a red square (the three primary colors) 2) Lumping all AC charging from 1.5kW to 20kW with one designator is just DUMB. 3) Consumers barely know what a kW is, so I would offer 100kW / 3-6 miles per minute for a typical car (it appears the author has accepted my previous critiques and started adding this feature) 4) Instead of absolutely meaningless numbers like 1, 2, 3, instead use number that reflect something, like kW (which is a worldwide metric… no conversions needed from miles to km, for example) 5) It is REALLY SILLY to include SAE-J1772 AC and SAE-CCS-Combo1 in the same symbol. The most popular car in the world will accept the former, and never uses the latter. So, any station powered by AC power (except three phase) and capable of 240 volts at 30-32 amps (7.7kW) in the US and… Read more »
(⌐■_■) Trollnonymous

Not sure why Tesla is not in the 21-51kw range. Aren’t they able to be set to throttle down to that range and/or “Taper”.

Probably the thinking is that there are no Tesla cars or official charging stations with that sort of power limit? Though it might still make sense for third-party charging stations that offer a Tesla adapter I guess…

The charge rate is not the issue. You arrive at a charging station and you are just happy if the plug fits into the car. You just have to accept the charge rate on offer. The more combersome part is how to get the thing working and how to pay for it, except for Tesla’s of course.

Nice graphic for beginners, but unfortunately it’s likely to be confusing when experienced people talk about Level 3 charging at 150 kW while people who learned it all from Chargeway think that Level three only goes up to 30 kW. Meanwhile they’re talking about Level 5 charging and we’re all asking what that is. Could cause some confusion.

I like the color coding but I don’t like the numbering. While I realize it’s designed to simplify everything, I don’t like the unnecessary obfuscation; just put the kW rate. Gas stations don’t have 1, 2, or 3 gas, they have octane ratings listed and people do just fine. List “AC 7kW” or “DC 350kW” (DC or AC on one line, and the kW rating on the other line). JMHO

I like the concept, but I think the numbers could be confusing, especially if someone has a “Green 4” car but pulls up to a station and sees that it’s a “Green 7”. Unless it’s posted as being “Green 1-7”, some people may not realize that it’s backwards-compatible and thus think that they can’t charge there.

I’ve posted my many issues with this method previously with the author. In summary: 1) color coding is ok, but I would combine color with shape. Human factors issues. Like ski slopes, use a blue circle, a yellow diamond and a red square (the three primary colors) 2) Lumping all AC charging from 1.5kW to 20kW with one designator is just DUMB. 3) Consumers barely know what a kW is, so I would offer 100kW / 3-6 miles per minute for a typical car (it appears the author has accepted my previous critiques and started adding this feature) 4) Instead of absolutely meaningless numbers like 1, 2, 3, instead use number that reflect something, like kW (which is a worldwide metric… no conversions needed from miles to km, for example) 5) It is REALLY SILLY to include SAE-J1772 AC and SAE-CCS-Combo1 in the same symbol. The most popular car in the world will accept the former, and never uses the latter. So, any station powered by AC power (except three phase) and capable of 240 volts at 30-32 amps (7.7kW) in the US and Canada might be: a. J1772 – Blue circle with a 7 (18-30 miles per hour) b.… Read more »