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Auto Makers Announce Electric Car Charging Standard 373

Overly Critical Guy writes "Auto makers are launching a universal EV charger that charges an electric vehicle in 15 to 20 minutes. The standard, called Combined Charging System, has been approved by the Society of Automotive Engineers and ACEA, the European association of vehicle manufacturers, as the standard for fast-charging electric vehicles."
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Auto Makers Announce Electric Car Charging Standard

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  • by 0123456 ( 636235 ) on Friday May 04, 2012 @07:57PM (#39897729)

    Why not make the batteries replaceable? Just switch them as a gas station, simple.

    Because it's a stupid idea for reasons we've covered numerous times before.

    1. Either you need a standard battery which prevents auto manufacturers from building different vehicles with different batteries, or the replacement station needs to store all possible batteries.
    2. If you get there with a flat battery and they're out then you're screwed. That's not a big deal for a car where you can drive on to the next gas station twenty miles down the road, but a big problem if your electric car only does eighty miles per charge anyway.
    3. Replacing batteries that weigh several hundred pounds is far from a simple task.
    4. No-one wants to pay $30k for a new car, then drive it into a replacement station where they'll hand over their brand new battery and have it replaced by one that's done 500,000 miles.

    etc, etc, etc.

  • Re:Define "charges" (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 04, 2012 @08:05PM (#39897761)

    Often when it comes to fast charge solutions, the quoted time is to reach 80% charge. The remaining 20% usually take a relatively long time because it's slower to charge a battery that's almost fully charged. You can see this in action pretty clearly if you own a laptop.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 04, 2012 @08:14PM (#39897823)

    Nissan advises Leaf owners to only Quick Charge twice per month. Some of the newer cars will be able to do it more frequently, possibly without any consequence over slow charging.

    Any day now, I'm expecting a lot of noise around owners who didn't RTFM and end up frying their batteries early.

  • Re:Whither Tesla? (Score:5, Informative)

    by CaptainLugnuts ( 2594663 ) on Friday May 04, 2012 @08:29PM (#39897919)
    It's too late. All the Japanese manufacturers standardized on CHAdeMO [] for charging.
  • Re:Define "charges" (Score:3, Informative)

    by gstrickler ( 920733 ) on Friday May 04, 2012 @08:41PM (#39897993)

    8MW is a measure of power, but it's irrelevant to the question at hand. Gas powered vehicles waste most of the energy in gasoline. Heat, friction, conversion efficiency, etc. So the theoretical power flowing through a fuel hose has only an indirect relationship to the amount of power an EV will require to theoretically be able to "charge" as quickly as you can refuel.

  • Re:Define "charges" (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 04, 2012 @08:53PM (#39898039)

    According to it is rated at 500 volts at 200 amps. So the total KWh for fifteen minutes would be 25.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 04, 2012 @09:09PM (#39898125)

    When did Audi, BMW, Daimler AG, Porsche, and Volkswagen become American companies?

  • by robot256 ( 1635039 ) on Friday May 04, 2012 @09:22PM (#39898223)

    What the J1772 CCS standard has going for it is that it's a free-license standard. (And that it can be covered by a single round "fuel cap".) All those cheapskate developing countries don't want to pay CHAdeMO royalties on every single connector they build, so once China starts producing them en masse the cost for the rest of us will come down. Unless CHAdeMO opens up its standard, it will slowly be eclipsed by the free standard.

    Or, consumers will get frustrated that they never have the right plug in the right place, and give up on L3 charging altogether, which doesn't help anyone. Really not sure how this one is going to play out.

  • Re:Holy crap! (Score:4, Informative)

    by Firethorn ( 177587 ) on Friday May 04, 2012 @09:37PM (#39898299) Homepage Journal

    Not to mention that at 20 minutes, I'm not going to a 'gas' station. I'm going to the grocery store to pick up my food for the week along with the charge. Heck, I fill up there anyway, it'd be even faster for me. No 5 minutes at the pump waiting for the tank to fill, instead it's 30 seconds plugging my car in before I head inside, then 30 seconds disconnecting when I get out.

    That or a restaurant, mall, movie theater, etc....

    Of course, most the time it'd simply be charged at home, maybe work. Charging outside of there would be when I'm traveling, and 300 mile range EVs like the Tesla would be running dry about the time I need to stop for a break & food anyways.

  • by demonlapin ( 527802 ) on Friday May 04, 2012 @10:12PM (#39898503) Homepage Journal

    Charge the car at home and at work, like your smartphone

    The problem with charging at work is that charging everyone's car during peak electric demand hours is a terrible idea. Cars should be charged in the middle of the night with cheaper electricity, not dumped on the grid just as the day starts heating up.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 04, 2012 @10:18PM (#39898559)

    The average commute in the US is 40 miles round trip.

  • Re:Define "charges" (Score:5, Informative)

    by loshwomp ( 468955 ) on Friday May 04, 2012 @11:12PM (#39898825)

    If we presume that this motor is sufficient for all modes of operation (probably true) then we can say that the car takes 110 kW to run at 80 mph.

    No. A small-medium car like the volt will use 20-25 kW when cruising at 80 mph. As with gas cars, the peak motor output is really only used when accelerating.

  • Re:Define "charges" (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 04, 2012 @11:37PM (#39898927)

    Maybe they'll put a Starbucks at the charging station for something to do while the cars are charging.

    You're not far off. Have you noticed how gas stations are starting to charge more for credit than cash, sometimes by far more than the card fees are? It's got nothing to do with saving some money on the station's Visa bill. Gas stations make almost no money on the gas, the profits are all from selling you soda, cigarrettes, and potato chips inside the station; the cash discount is just to get you out of your car. The idea of a 15-minute fillup rather than a 2-minute fillup must have filling station owners excited as hell.

  • Re:Define "charges" (Score:5, Informative)

    by dissy ( 172727 ) on Saturday May 05, 2012 @12:22AM (#39899097)

    We will see drunks piss on a cable, then their next of kin sue the station and everyone else upstream.

    These problems have already been solved.

    The Japanese fast charging standard CHAdeMO has both power delivery as well as a CAN bus data connection in the "nozzle".
    A communications channel is opened, and a diagnostic run on the battery system to determine there are no problems before power is even engaged to the pump.

    Shorting out the CAN data lines will do nothing. Unless your piss can speak binary using the right protocol and sending the right responses up the line, there will be no power to harm you. []

    There is no reason to NOT include such a basic safety feature, which is always the case for any such potentially dangerous machinery designed to be fully self serviced by the below average consumer.

    Gas stations are already under heavy video surveillance to prevent both vandalism and theft of service. This will not change.

  • Re:Define "charges" (Score:4, Informative)

    by gstrickler ( 920733 ) on Saturday May 05, 2012 @12:47AM (#39899185)

    Apparently you haven't been keeping up with battery technology. Toshiba's SCiB [] charges in 10 mins. Been shipping for a few years now. Other researchers have reported similar capabilities in the lab.

    So, your assurances aren't useful.

  • Re:Define "charges" (Score:3, Informative)

    by Immerman ( 2627577 ) on Saturday May 05, 2012 @03:49AM (#39899915)

    Not sure exactly what you're asking, but I'll try to answer anyway. Converting AC power uses transformers which have no theoretical limits as to power conversion. You can convert a 1V input to a 1,000V output if you so choose. The catch is just that transforms maintain the same total power (volts * amps) between input and output - if you double the voltage you halve the current.

    If you could draw 200amps from a 240v source you could convert that to 96 amps at 500V easily enough, and then convert it to DC without much trouble. But lets be clear, you're talking about 48,000W, enough power to simultaneously run 32 standard 1500W electric heaters on high. That's going to take some seriously thick wire and good insulation, and there's not actually any call for it. If you need to recharge quickly go to the charging station, at home just trickle-charge it overnight. Instead of drawing 100kW for 15 minutes you draw 500W for 5 hours, resulting in much less wear and tear on both your battery and your home wiring.

    As for 3-phase power, that's a specialty thing. It doesn't really buy you any extra "magic" over normal AC, just makes some kinds of equipment more efficient and/or convenient to implement.

Karl's version of Parkinson's Law: Work expands to exceed the time alloted it.