“A standardised charging system is vital if electromobility is to succeed. The CCS (Combined Charging System) features a ‘combo connector’ that combines charging points for alternating current (AC) and the faster direct current (DC) in a single unit. Our aim with CharIN is to promote this option, which is called for by the EU”, explained Volker Blandow, Global Head of E-Mobility at TÜV SÜD. As an additional advantage, Europe and the USA are acting in concert on this issue; the US standardisation institution SAE and the European Commission have agreed over this common standard for electric vehicle charging.
“A joint system will represent enormous savings for automotive manufacturers”, said Blandow. “Each additional charging system that manufacturers are required to provide as an option involves high costs for development, obtaining approval and, ultimately, also for maintenance. The more standardisation is introduced in global charging systems, the more universal sales of electric vehicles can be. Customers should be able to buy the car they want and be sure they can charge it anywhere – which has not always been a given in the situation to date.”
In Europe, new rules will also apply to charging infrastructure from autumn 2015. Each new fast charging station must include at least one CCS connector, so that in future customers can rely on being able to access CCS charging at all fast charging points. As the number of fast charging stations soars (there are currently over 1000 charging points with CCS throughout Europe), vendor-specific charging systems will be prohibited in future. As with mobile phones, the new ruling is the EU’s move to ensure standardised, and thus customer-friendly, charging infrastructure.
CCS is also included in the 400 new charging stations planned for construction by 2017 under the German government’s SLAM project (a German acronym standing for ‘fast charging networks for transport axes and metropolitan areas’).
Founder members of CharIN include Audi, BMW, Daimler, Ford, Opel, Porsche and Volkswagen, industrial connector manufacturers Mennekes and PhoenixContact, and TÜV SÜD as the initiative’s independent partner for safety, certainty and interoperability.
TÜV SÜD is among Europe’s leading certification bodies for electric vehicle charging stations.
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