chevy spark ev

Think of it as a BMW-General Motors combo for the Combo. The two automakers have worked together to ensure that the BMW i3 and the Chevrolet Spark Electric will be the first two US vehicles to be compatible with the recently developed Society of Automotive Engineers' (SAE) so-called fast-charging "Combo" standard

Bimmer and the General collaborated on getting their upcoming EVs to conform to the fast-charging standard that will allow for both AC and DC charging in the same port. ABB and Eaton are among the component suppliers that worked on the new system.

BMW says the Combo system will allow for fast charging that will allow for the i3 to be 80 percent recharged in about 20 minutes. The i3 will be BMW's first production EV when deliveries start later this year, while Chevy is set to debut the Spark EV (pictured) this month.

Last fall, the SAE finalized the technical standards for the Combo system that's been embraced by US and European plug-in vehicle makers. Meanwhile, Japanese plug-in vehicle makers are backing the competing CHAdeMO standard, as you can read here. Check out BMW's press release and a video from GM below.
Related Gallery2014 Chevrolet Spark EV


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BMW, GM Engineers Complete Testing on DC Fast Charge Station Usage
  • Teams complete validation on BMW i3 and Chevrolet Spark EV using stations manufactured by various suppliers
Woodcliff Lake, NJ – June 11, 2013... Engineers from BMW AG and General Motors recently passed a milestone in the adoption of the new Society of Automotive Engineers industry standard for DC Fast Charging. Teams from both companies worked jointly to ensure the conformity of DC "Combo" Fast Charge stations developed by various suppliers to the SAE standard by charging pre-production versions of the BMW i3 and the Chevrolet Spark EV.

This industry-coordinated early confirmation of DC Fast Charge hardware and software will accelerate efforts to roll out SAE Combo DC Fast Charge infrastructure in the coming months. Among the suppliers who participated in the testing were ABB, Aker Wade, Eaton and IES.

"Our goal with this cooperation was to ensure that DC fast charging stations be available to provide BMW i customers the premium fast charging experience in time for the arrival of the BMW i3s," commented Cliff Fietzek Manager connected e-Mobility at BMW of North America, LLC. "We are pleased that we will meet our goal."

"This unprecedented cooperation among OEMs and equipment suppliers demonstrates the maturity of this important technology that will help speed the adoption of electric vehicles around the world," said Britta Gross, Director, Advanced Vehicle Commercialization Policy at General Motors.

Just as the majority of the world's major automakers adopted the SAE's 120V/240V AC connector standard to assure plug-in vehicles could access all charging infrastructure regardless of vehicle make or model, auto manufacturers (including BMW, General Motors, Ford Motor Company, Chrysler, Daimler, Volkswagen, Audi and Porsche) have committed to adopting the SAE combo fast charge connector, which assures standardization of the DC Fast Charge connectors.

This new combined AC and DC charging, or combo, connector provides added ease of use for DC Fast Charging, including a single charge port on the vehicle, and allows electricity to flow at a faster rate, making EVs more convenient to use for consumers who may not otherwise have convenient access overnight to charging at home. Using DC Fast Charging, EV owners could recharge their batteries up to 80 percent in less than 20 minutes.

"This successful testing is an important milestone that underscores our commitment to enable the next generation of electric vehicles," noted Cal Lankton, Director of ABB's EV Charging Infrastructure for North America. "By offering a broad charging portfolio, we can fully support the needs of all EV drivers and infrastructure providers".

The first vehicles to offer the new SAE Combo DC Fast Charge connector will be the BMW i3 and the Chevrolet Spark EV. DC Fast Charge is expected to be available when the BMW i3 launches in the US.

BMW Group In America

BMW of North America, LLC has been present in the United States since 1975. Rolls-Royce Motor Cars NA, LLC began distributing vehicles in 2003. The BMW Group in the United States has grown to include marketing, sales, and financial service organizations for the BMW brand of motor vehicles, including motorcycles, the MINI brand, and the Rolls-Royce brand of Motor Cars; DesignworksUSA, a strategic design consultancy in California; a technology office in Silicon Valley and various other operations throughout the country. BMW Manufacturing Co., LLC in South Carolina is part of BMW Group's global manufacturing network and is the exclusive manufacturing plant for all X5 and X3 Sports Activity Vehicles and X6 Sports Activity Coupes. The BMW Group sales organization is represented in the U.S. through networks of 338 BMW passenger car and BMW Sports Activity Vehicle centers, 139 BMW motorcycle retailers, 118 MINI passenger car dealers, and 34 Rolls-Royce Motor Car dealers. BMW (US) Holding Corp., the BMW Group's sales headquarters for North America, is located in Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey.

Information about BMW Group products is available to consumers via the Internet at: www.bmwgroupna.com