The 2013 Plug In Conference in San Diego, CA was not only the site of a big meeting of the minds for EV companies this week, it was also where a SAE Combo Fast Charging station has been installed – and used – for the first time. NRG built the station, which charged both a BMW i3 and a Chevy Spark EV, the two first cars on the market that can accept the new-fangled dongle. The fast charger can fill an empty EV battery to around 80 percent in under 30 minutes.
The charging station is located at the Fashion Valley Mall and is now ready to accept any EV with the Combined Charging Standard (CCS) installed. Since the i3 will not be available in the US until early next year and the first fast-charging Spark will not arrive until late December, it's a little ahead of the game. The CCS option will cost between $500 and $1,000, according to Green Car Reports.
The competing fast-charge solution is CHAdeMO, which works with properly equipped Nissan Leaf and Mitsubishi i EVs. The most current data from the CHAdeMO organization says there are 306 of these fast chargers in the US. The SAE Combo charger is supported by a wide variety of manufacturers, including GM and BMW, obviously, as well as Ford, Chrysler, Daimler and the Volkswagen family.
Related GalleryBMW i3 DC Fast Charge SAE Combo Charger
Chevrolet Spark EV will be first with SAE combo connector option in late December
SAN DIEGO – The SAE International DC "Combo" Fast Charge station installation at the Fashion Valley Mall here is a milestone for plug-in electric vehicles – the first public installation in the U.S. of an industry-coordinated standard for fast charging of plug-in electric vehicles.
The Chevrolet Spark EV, available in California and Oregon, will be the first EV in the U.S. to offer the SAE International fast-charge connector as a vehicle option starting in late December.
"The launch of these new charge stations will help improve the convenience and adoption of electric vehicles because they dramatically reduce the charge time," said Pamela Fletcher, executive chief engineer of electrified vehicles at General Motors. "The SAE Combo DC fast charge stations are the result of EV industry collaboration to help customers benefit from available public infrastructure."
The new combined AC and DC charging, or combo, connector is accessible via a single charge port on the vehicle and allows electricity to flow at a faster rate, making EVs more convenient for longer trips and for EV owners who may lack convenient access to overnight home charging.
"San Diego Gas & Electric applauds the collaborative efforts it took to make San Diego home to the world's first retail SAE DC fast charge station," said Lee Krevat, director of smart grid and clean transportation for the utility. "Our local drivers that have vehicles equipped with this charging system connector will be the true beneficiaries of this technology."
Many major automakers including GM, Ford, Chrysler, BMW, Daimler, Volkswagen, Audi and Porsche have announced they will adopt the SAE combo fast charge connector standard. Earlier, many of the world's major automakers had 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.
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Born Electric BMW i3 Charges at First Ever Public Charging Station with Combo-Charging DC Fast Charging System
BMW i3 among the first EVs to use Combo-Charging inlet for all charging
Woodcliff Lake, NJ – September 30, 2013 – 8:00pm PDT/11:00pm EDT... A BMW i3 was fully charged in under 30-minutes today at the first-ever public charging station in the US to offer the SAE Combo-Charging fast charging system. The public charging station is located at the Fashion Valley Mall in San Diego, CA. The optional fast charging system will enable the BMW i3 driver to charge their EV from a standard 110 volt outlet with a cord set, a 220 volt charging wallbox or public charging station and also from a DC Fast Charging public charging station all from the same charging inlet.
"The start of the public DC Combo Fast Charging Infrastructure installations in the US is a great base for the US launch of the new BMW i3, because it will offer our customers the ability to recharge their EV in less than 30 minutes instead of the three hours needed with conventional 220 volt public charging stations" said Cliff Fietzek, Manager Connected eMobility at BMW of North America.
The Combo Charging System is a joint development between most OEMs and the EV industry. BMW and General Motors together tested several Combo Charging Stations from various suppliers both in Munich, Germany and Warren, Michigan. OEMs worked together with the EV industry to confirm a DC combo-charging standard. Major automakers including BMW, GM, Ford, Chrysler, Daimler, Volkswagen, Audi and Porsche have committed to adopting the combo fast charge connector standard.
This installation of the first-ever public charging station to use the SAE standard DC Fast Charging Combo Charging System at the Fashion Valley Mall in San Diego, CA is another milestone for BMW on the road to the launch of the Born Electric BMW i3 in the US. The growing DC "Combo" public charging infrastructure in the US will be accessible for the all-electric BMW i3 when equipped with the DC Fast Charging option. Production has begun in Leipzig, Germany of the the BMW i3, which will be available in the US in the second quarter of 2014.
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, 119 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.
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