Major carmakers agree on fast charging system image

Seven automakers, including General Motors, Ford, BMW, VW Porsche and Daimler Ag have agreed to adopt a fast-charging system that can charge electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids in as little as 20 minutes.

The system integrates one phase AC charging and three-phase fast AC charging along with DC charging at home.

It will take about 20 minutes to get an 80% charge on a depleted electric car battery .

This will allow customers to charge at most existing charging stations regardless of power source. These automakers believe this initiative may speed more affordable adoption of a standardized infrastructure.

According to reports, the system was developed for all international vehicle markets. Uniformity was key, with identical electrical systems, charge controllers, package dimensions and safety mechanisms.

Numerous auto blogs point to the announcement as good news for an EV industry trying to achieve wider consumer adoption by coming up with practical solutions for battery charging.

The system allows for charging at 500 volts with a maximum current of 200 amps, which could result in a charge able to deliver 100 kilowatts of power, Gery Kissel, the chair of the SAE International J1772 task force, told Automotive Engineering International Online.

The Society of International Engineers has chosen the charging method as its standard and the European association of vehicle manufacturers (ACEA) has endorsed the technology, meaning the system will be the charging interface for new EVs starting in 2017.

Chargers will be available commercially as of the end of 2012 and vehicles using the technology will be available starting 2013