Proterra Becomes First U.S. Electric Bus Maker To Join CharIN CCS

3 months ago by Mark Kane 15

Proterra Catalyst E2 – Available With 440-660 kWh battery

Proterra has become the first North American EV bus manufacturer to become a member of the Charging Interface Initiative (CharIN e.V.), which is an international standardization organization to develop and establishing the Combined Charging System (CCS) – DC fast charging.

CharIN Association

CharIN is trying to leverage adoption of CCS Combo, which on the vehicle side combines both the AC and DC inlet (see below diagram for more info).

There are two different versions between North America and Europe/other places, as the DC part of the equation was added as the extension of existing J1772 AC in NA, and as a 3-phase capable Type 2 AC in Europe.

The short term plan now is also to increase the standard power to 150 kW (and 350 kW).

Proterra is also using its own single-blade overhead fast-charging system, which year ago was opened on  royalty-free basis.

“Proterra joined CharIN to help ensure heavy-duty electric vehicle needs are considered in charging infrastructure standardization discussions domestically and around the globe.  The company brings to CharIN transit design, manufacturing and charging expertise, as well as extensive real-world operations experience that will complement and supplement the strong CharIN roster of members and partners.

Already, Proterra vehicles have proven themselves over more than 3.3 million miles of service using the CCS Standard, which leverages passenger market volumes for improved reliability, reduced costs and increased compatibility in yards and across transit agencies.

By joining CharIN, Proterra is demonstrating its commitment to the development and extension of a successful established standard.”

Ryan Popple, CEO, Proterra said:

“We’re no longer at the dawn of the electric mass transportation revolution, we’re in the midst of it.  We will continue to do our part as the North American market leader and champion innovation throughout the electric mobility ecosystem.”

Combined Charging System (CCS)

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15 responses to "Proterra Becomes First U.S. Electric Bus Maker To Join CharIN CCS"

  1. Miggy says:

    North America (USA) needs to change to the world standard and the sooner the better.

    1. Dan says:

      Lol. Whenever Europeans get together and create a cartel, they invariably add “world standard” to whatever they are doing. Don’t worry. The rest of us laugh when you do it.

      North America doesn’t use 3 phase power in non-industrial settings. What would we need Type 2 for? Secondly, I don’t see anybody driving from Europe to the US and getting stuck. It’s a non-issue.

    2. zzzzzzzzzz says:

      Forget world standard. JARI (chademo) connector had some chance to become worldwide DC charging standard a decade ago. Thanks to Tesla and German EV non-makers at that time, the charging infrastructure was successfully fragmented. Now you have regional standards only, Type 2, Type 1, Chinese GB, Type 4 or Chademo in Japan, Tesla Type 2 in Europe, another incompatible Tesla in North America, and so on.

      What a nice zoo of charging standards to choose from 😉

      1. Bill Howland says:

        But zzzzzzzz, the situation isn’t as bad as you and Miggy are painting it – Miggy I don’t think you realize the ramifications of what you are talking about otherwise you’d never have suggested it.

        Europe is an interesting situation – everyone basically has the same power, but the plugs in each country are different!!!!

        If the countries were huge geographically it wouldn’t be so bad, but you can fit 2 Germanys inside Texas.

        So if EV’s are a problem, the different countries WITHIN europe are a much bigger problem. At least the car end, standardized onto ‘type 2’ is a CONSTANT.

        Tesla always does their own thing – that is the way it is.

        As far as there being 2 CCS connectors, Tony Williams always got HUNG UP on this, and, because he sold Chademo stuff, was trying to convince everyone that Chademo was the way
        to go, when most automakers just wanted to put 2 pins onto what they used already… So CCS is really the SAME worldwide, if you’re just talking about the additions, – which is ALL YOU HAVE TO TALK ABOUT, since the car has to have the Level Two stuff anyway, and that will always be different between North American and Europe. CCS is cheap since you basically use the same connection for L1, L2, and L3. And only one jack, and one fill port on the car for any kind of charging.

        A decision was made well over 100 years ago to go in slightly different directions, and I don’t see EV’s changing this. We’ve all somehow survived somehow to this point.

        1. Stimpacker says:

          CCS is so ugly.
          CHAdeMO looks like a fire hose.

          Both suck.

          More importantly, where the heck are the 150kW stations? We have a few 100A (aka 36kW) stations here. Not great for long distance travel.

  2. john Doe says:

    Two standards add to the cost.
    I wonder how much it would cost to have one standard, with one universal plug – but with varying power levels. And convert the existing chargers…

    Just make a connector that is super sized, and make it mandatory for cars made from 2019 or whatever..
    Expect that cars will need more power, to cut charging time.
    Even make it possible for a bus, truck, minibus and larger vehicles to charge from 2-3 at once..
    There are several at work that never uses the EVs, as they don’t bother to learn where to charge other then at HQ – so they use an ICE car insted.

    1. Bill Howland says:

      Sorry John Doe – In my opinion, if you look at it the way the automakers do – CCS is really only one worldwide standard already- read my above comment explaining it.

      We don’t need a 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, etc plug attempting to ‘restandarize things’.

  3. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

    Proterra’s EV bus chargers run at up to 500 kW! I’m not aware of any other charging system for land vehicles** with that high a power rating, which is actually being used daily on a commercial basis, not merely used as a demonstration.

    The CSS organization should welcome Proterra, and hopefully they’ll get some valuable input from Proterra and its cutting-edge tech!

    **There are one or more short-range ferries which operate on electric power… those might charge at even higher than 500 kW.

  4. Chris O says:

    While Charin is trying to decide on 150KW charging Tesla is charging ahead with its Supercharging network. It’s been a while since Charin was established, where are the results?

  5. Steven says:

    Gasoline.

    Gasoline is “standard enough” around the world, that you take an ICE car from any country and drop it almost anywhere in the world, and it can tank up and go.

    Electrically powered cars, not so much. That’s a problem. You don’t see it as a problem, but it is. Not one you’ll have to face today, but someday soon it will be unavoidable.
    Everyone’s issue is “Use my plug and it will be standard”.
    No use my plug. No use mine. No mine…

    No. In the long run, the fewer standards the better. (And then someone posts the XKCD strip about standards)
    At some point, we’re going to need to eliminate competing standards and simplify.

    My thoughts…
    Up to 240VAC, single phase on one connection.
    Up to 240VAC, three-phase on another.
    DC up to “X” amp/hrs on a third connection. If the vehicle has the ability to take “more than X” then it has more than one connection. I’ve often seen Semi’s filling with a hose to each tank, so it really isn’t a paradigm shift.

    And finally, proprietary connections for those who don’t want to “play nice”.

    Now tell me why this won’t work.

    1. Dan says:

      People don’t drive from Japan to Europe or from Europe to the US. You haven’t pointed out a problem that needs to be solved. We’ve been living with regional plug and voltage differences for our electronics all through the 20th century without any issue. That’s not changing with electric cars. As long as a particular auto market can find its standard, we’re good. The largest EV market, China, doesn’t use CCS, Chademo, or Tesla. So, fin you’re looking to standardize, talk to the big boys first and see what they think.

    2. Bill Howland says:

      Steven: If you are European then you really only have one ‘type 2’ connector at the car.

      But if you’re in the States, we have AT LEAST 3 different common types of 3 phase power (some utilities sell 4 or 5 different types: (besides at least 2 types of single-phase)

      120Y/208
      277Y/480
      120Delta/240 4 wire
      240Delta 3 wire.
      347Y/600 (Popular in Canada)

      That is why the current SAE nomenclature is so silly I dont use it, and use the terms generically individual EV owners use and most of their manufacuturers of L1, L2, and L3.

      Right now, the ‘official’ L3 ‘standard’ lumps single and three phase – as one connection which is just brain dead, since as I’ve illustrated – that is 7 different types of power supply with differing voltages and wire numbers.

  6. Local Mile says:

    The Tesla connector is smaller, lighter, much easier to handle (especially for smaller people), and less expensive. It is capable today of at least everything from 1kW wall outlet AC to 148kW DC. It is apparently capable of up to 320kW DC with the current physical design (but with a different phenolic material in the handle so fully inter-operable).

    Why do we want the much larger, heavier, more difficult to handle and more expensive design-by-committee connectors for anything less than 320kW?

    1. Bill Howland says:

      I don’t know where you get the sustained 148 kw from – the largest in the states by graphs we’ve been shown are charging rates of 115-120 kw. There have also been SOME heating problems at these rates, so I wouldn’t think Tesla would want to push their luck with anything much larger.

    2. Jason says:

      And don’t forget, any manufacturer can adopt the Tesla format but they choose not to. Whether that is because Tesla make it difficult for them or because they don’t want to further Tesla’s cause doesn’t matter. The fact is they have chosen to go with something different.

      As to world standards, I believe CHAdeMO is the same everywhere. CCS could have adopted the same plug format everywhere and the charging station would have been setup to suit, forget about what the power in the country is, that is what the charge station is there for, to put it in the appropriate format. Manufacturers should have used the euro CCS socket and the US would just apply to those specific pins in the socket, or used signalling to determine the fact of the power supply.

      At the end of the day the manufacturers have a huge say in this. I imagine they could easily adopt the euro CCS socket and sell an adaptor for the US plug. We can see this sort of thing with the new Leaf where they supply the higher power EVSE with an adaptor for the lower power. I mean if you can plug your iPad power supply into 120v, 240v and pretty much anywhere in the world with a simple adaptor, then car power and all the money available to auto industry development should be a piece of cake!

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