Anyone For A DC Fast Charge? Not Quite Yet...But Soon

Anyone For A DC Fast Charge? Not Quite Yet...But Soon

Teams of engineers from both BMW and General Motors combined forces to complete testing on the new SAE fast charging stations that will be going into effect late in 2013.

The goal of the co-operative effort was to ensure conformity of DC “Combo” Fast Charge stations to the SAE standards.

“Our goal with this cooperation was to ensure that DC fast charging  stations be available to provide BMW i customers the premium fast  charging experience in time for the arrival of the BMW i3s,” commented  Cliff Fietzek Manager connected e-Mobility at BMW of North America,  LLC. “We are pleased that we will meet our goal.”

Cutting through the press release jargon (which you can read for yourself below from both companies), the event consisted of GM rolling up in a pre-production Spark EV, with BMW bringing along a new production-intent i3 to take charges from four major EVSE manufacturers committed to selling the new SAE standard.  (ABB, Aker Wade, Eaton and IES)

All four of the suppliers machines performed well, and charged both the Spark EV and the BMW i3 to at least 80% in about 20 minutes.  The SAE "Combo" systems tested can give out charges up to 90 kW at 450 volts.

Eight-ish manufacturers  (if you like to double count sub-brands) have backed the new standard - BMW, General Motors, Ford, Chrysler, Daimler, Volkswagen, Audi and Porsche.

Of interest, the Spark EV which was to be the first production electric car to be introduced to accept the Combo DC  Fast Charge, has had that option delayed until later this year, and now the i3 looks to take that honor as the BMW will have that functionality from day one.

The BMW i3 is slated to first go on sale on November 16th, while the Spark EV priced at $27,495, is just now landing at California Chevy dealers with only the 120/240 charging available to purchase.  GM says that the "DC Fast Charge option is expected to be available a few months after the Spark EV launches."

GM also put together a little video to mark the occasion (press releases from BMW & GM below):

Combined Charging System (click to enlarge)

Combined Charging System (click to enlarge)

BMW PRESS RELEASE:

Woodcliff Lake, NJ – June 11, 2013… Engineers from  BMW AG and General Motors recently passed a milestone in the adoption  of the new Society of Automotive Engineers industry standard for DC  Fast Charging.  Teams from both companies worked jointly to ensure the  conformity of DC “Combo” Fast Charge stations developed by various  suppliers to the SAE standard by charging pre-production versions of  the BMW i3 and the Chevrolet Spark EV.

This industry-coordinated early confirmation of DC Fast Charge  hardware and software will accelerate efforts to roll out SAE Combo DC  Fast Charge infrastructure in the coming months.  Among the suppliers  who participated in the testing were ABB, Aker Wade, Eaton and IES.

“Our goal with this cooperation was to ensure that DC fast charging  stations be available to provide BMW i customers the premium fast  charging experience in time for the arrival of the BMW i3s,” commented  Cliff Fietzek Manager connected e-Mobility at BMW of North America,  LLC. “We are pleased that we will meet our goal.”

“This unprecedented cooperation among OEMs and equipment suppliers  demonstrates the maturity of this important technology that will help  speed the adoption of electric vehicles around the world,” said Britta  Gross, Director, Advanced Vehicle Commercialization Policy at General Motors.

Just as the majority of the world’s major automakers adopted the  SAE’s 120V/240V AC connector standard to assure plug-in vehicles could  access all charging infrastructure regardless of vehicle make or  model, auto manufacturers (including BMW, General Motors, Ford Motor  Company, Chrysler, Daimler, Volkswagen, Audi and Porsche) have  committed to adopting the SAE combo fast charge connector, which  assures standardization of the DC Fast Charge connectors.

This new combined AC and DC charging, or combo, connector provides  added ease of use for DC Fast Charging, including a single charge port  on the vehicle, and allows electricity to flow at a faster rate,  making EVs more convenient to use for consumers who may not otherwise  have convenient access overnight to charging at home.  Using DC Fast  Charging, EV owners could recharge their batteries up to 80 percent in  less than 20 minutes.

“This successful testing is an important milestone that underscores  our commitment to enable the next generation of electric  vehicles," noted Cal Lankton, Director of ABB's EV Charging  Infrastructure for North America. "By offering a broad charging  portfolio, we can fully support the needs of all EV drivers and  infrastructure providers”.

The first vehicles to offer the new SAE Combo DC Fast Charge  connector will be the BMW i3 and the Chevrolet Spark EV.  DC Fast  Charge is expected to be available when the BMW i3 launches in the US.

 

Chevrolet Spark EV Will Be The First (Or Maybe The Second) Production EV To Accept A SAE

Chevrolet Spark EV Will Be The First (Or Maybe The Second) Production EV To Accept A SAE "Combo" Charge

GM PRESS RELEASE:

WARREN, Mich. – Following several days of joint testing, General Motors and BMW AG engineers are confident that DC “Combo” Fast Charge stations from several suppliers will consistently allow an electric vehicle to take on an 80 percent charge in about 20 minutes.

The first electric vehicles expected to benefit from the Society of Automotive Engineers new industry standard for DC fast charging are the Chevrolet Spark EV and the BMW i3.

This industry-coordinated early confirmation of DC Fast Charge hardware and software will accelerate efforts to roll out SAE Combo DC Fast Charge infrastructure in the coming months.  Among the suppliers participating in the testing were ABB, Aker Wade, Eaton and IES.

“This unprecedented cooperation among OEMs and equipment suppliers demonstrates the maturity of this important technology that will help speed the adoption of electric vehicles around the world,” said Britta Gross, GM director, advanced vehicle commercialization policy.

Just as most major automakers adopted the SAE’s 120V/240V AC connector standard to assure plug-in vehicles could access all charging infrastructure, eight automakers – GM   Ford,, Chrysler, BMW, Daimler, Volkswagen, Audi and Porsche – have committed to adopting the SAE combo fast charge connector, assuring standardization of the DC Fast Charge connectors.

“Our goal with this cooperation was to ensure that DC fast charging stations be available to provide BMW i3 customers the premium fast charging experience in time for the arrival of the BMW i3,” said Cliff Fietzek, manager connected e-Mobility at BMW of North America LLC. “We are pleased that we will meet our goal.”

This new combined AC and DC charging, or combo, connector provides added ease of use for DC Fast Charging, including a single charge port on the vehicle, and allows electricity to flow at a faster rate, making EVs more convenient and reliable to use for consumers who may not  have  access to overnight charging at home.  DC Fast Charging allows EV owners to recharge their batteries up to 80 percent in less than 20 minutes.

“This successful testing is an important milestone that underscores our commitment to enable the next generation of electric vehicles," said Cal Lankton, director of ABB's EV Charging Infrastructure for North America. "By offering a broad charging portfolio, we can fully support the needs of all EV drivers and infrastructure providers.”

The DC Fast Charge option is expected to be available a few months after the Spark EV launches in California and Oregon this summer.

Hat tip to George K for some info