Volvo Cars Calls On Automotive Industry To Standardize Electric Car Charging. Supports Combo (CCS)

MAR 20 2016 BY MARK KANE 27

Combined Charging System (CCS)

Combined Charging System (CCS)

Volvo S90 T8 Twin Engine

Volvo S90 T8 Twin Engine

Volvo Cars announced the need for standardized charging infrastructure for electric cars, and as such put its support behind the Combined Charging System (CCS).

The Swedish company needed to make choice between CHAdeMO and Combo, as by 2019 it intends to introduce an all-new pure electric model, which will be in need of fast charging.

To date, Volvo has utilized only AC charging inlets – both the Type 1 (J1772) or Type 2. Moving to combo then isn’t any suprise.

“To support this drive towards a global standard for electric car charging, Volvo Cars has decided to throw its weight behind the Charging Interface Initiative, a consortium of stakeholders that was founded to establish their Combined Charging System (CCS) as the standard for charging battery-powered vehicles.

In order to cement the increasing popularity of electric vehicles and ensure that customers fully embrace the technology, Dr Mertens argues that a simple, standardised, fast and global charging infrastructure is needed.”

Volvo Cars' vision of an electric future

Volvo Cars’ vision of an electric future

Dr Peter Mertens, the company’s Senior Vice President for Research & Development said:

“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 standardised charging system is sorely needed.”

In Europe – the Type 2 plug/inlet enables charging in  1-phase or 3-phase (up to 43 kW), and with two additional heavy-duty lines in the CCS version, some ~200 kW could be send to the vehicle.

According to Volvo, there is still prospects to even increase that power level to the 350 kW in the future.

“The Combined Charging System, which will offer both regular and fast charging capabilities, makes electric car ownership increasingly practical and convenient – especially in urban environments which are ideal for electric vehicles.

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 the future possibility of up to 350 kW – all in a single system.

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.”

Dr. Mertens add:

“We are very happy to support and be involved in the setting of standards for electric vehicle charging systems. The lack of such a standard is one of the main obstacles for growing electric vehicles’ share of the market.”

Volvo V60 Twin Engine - model year 2016

Volvo V60 Twin Engine – model year 2016

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27 Comments on "Volvo Cars Calls On Automotive Industry To Standardize Electric Car Charging. Supports Combo (CCS)"

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Forever Green

Volvo is correct on this one. There has to be a standardize Electric charging system. Manufacturers and consumers will benefit from this. I had a 2012 Nissan Leaf. I have a 2016 Chevy Volt. Before I go all electric again, one of the things that has to be in place is a standardize electric charging system.


Looks like the compliance EVs have a CCS plug
except BMW is engaged in selling i3 worldwide. Others produce a few cars and it’s good for their fleet consumption. So far only Tesla and Renault-Nissan selling numbers are okay.


There are only two open standards – ChaDeMo and CCS. There are far greater sales for either of those standards compared to Tesla’s proprietary supercharger.


Problem is, that only Tesla has built infrastructure to enable trully long distance EV driving.

Neither CCS, not Chademo is likely to have comparable network anytime soon.


Well that depends.

Where I’m from we have a pair of CCS/CHAdeMO/Type2 combined charging stations every 25km on the motorways (total of 22) and 2 Tesla sites.

There is more to the world than USA 🙂


Sorry Oskar 26 multistandard on every 50km both sides.

Mauricio Esguerra

This is an important impulse. The easiest way, however, is to also consider wireless charging. Thanks to the efforts done within IEC there is a universal standard already in place.


But isn’t wireless charging quite inefficient?


Yes, although theoretically that’s not the big issue. The big problem is that maximum charging rate.


They’re claiming 90% efficiency. Even if we assume that’s best-case scenario, it would seem that it’s not wasting that as much energy as you might think. And given the improvement in convenience — you don’t have to be there to plug the car in, or unplug it, so the charger can operate at any time — I think it’s inevitable that this will become the future standard.

Mind you, I’m not happy about the reduction in the efficiency, not even if it’s only 15% or so. I’m just being realistic about people preferring convenience to efficiency.

Max S.

I totally agree. Most people will likely see a 10-15% efficiency loss as a small price to pay for convenience, especially considering EVs are so energy efficient to begin with.


I vote for the Tesla standard because it’s already implemented.


So how will Tesla implement charging owners of non-Tesla vehicles for use of the Supercharger network?


Very good Volvo. Now we just need you to do two more things:
1) Build a long-distance BEV
2) Build some chargers

Sam EV

3) Build ANY car with L3 charging.

(Their XC90 is only L2 right?)


We are way too early in the power increase race to already freeze a charging standard. So although hearing about a CCS at 350 KW is interesting and going in the good direction, we are not even at the minimum required 500 KW for true fast charging in 5 or 10 minutes. Let the emulation first go on for a while with Tesla, Porsche and others until we are at or above those 500 KW then it will be the right time to start the standardization process of a mature system. By the way we also need to get higher in voltage as well to somewhere between 1500 v and 6000 v before 500 KW is even possible. Frankly I don’t think the Wright brothers where the ones that set the aerial refueling standard so let be humble and wait until we get a little further in the ev evolution before we impose standards.


6000V on a passenger car?? correct me if I’m wrong but I would think that the shock hazards and insulation requirements would make this unfeasible.


Spark plugs operate up to 35000 volt, so that solves the insulation problem.
by the way many industrial motors operate at 6000 v.


It’s great that Volvo is pushing for the CCS standard, but I honestly fail to see the huge detriment of CHAdeMO and CCS living alongside each other. These are the two main standards for fast charging most EVs. I ask this question: what is the extra cost of having an additional connector on a fast charger? Other than that relatively minor extra cost on a fast charger, what other reasons are there against having two standards? As of now, I fail to see any.


Gasoline and diesel can be chosen from the same pump/console, no reason why choice of CCS or Chademo would need to be and different…


But diesel needs a different underground tank at the gas station, as well as separate plumbing lines, separate nozzles and, yes, separate pumps. (Actual pumps which you don’t see; not the housing unit, which you do.)

All that creates extra expense. That’s why, in the USA at least, most gas stations don’t carry diesel. And extra expense is why many or most EV chargers are not going to be equipped to serve competing charging formats.

Tony Williams

And yet, MOST new (non-Teala) DC charging stations that are installed in the US and EU have either two or three standards per station.


Right Tony, and I’ve just learned that the extra cost for a second plug on a fast charger is $500 or so… really not much to make noise about.


What do all the pins do in the EU L2 plug? why do you need 2 extra pins in the EU?


3 phase charging, something USA and Japan just ignored about, which means the impact in the distribution network is lower and you can charge higher power


Great to see Volvo championing the cause of a true EV charging standard! It’s certainly true that a lack of any real standard is one of the things holding back the EV revolution.

Here’s hoping some major auto makers follow where Volvo is leading.


Tesla uses 120kW DC thru Type2 plug in Europe so no need for big CSS2 plug.