To help ensure simple electric car charging methods for the future, several car manufacturers -- including Audi, BMW, Daimler, Ford, General Motors, Porsche, and Volkswagen -- are working together to establish a standard protocol for rapid electric vehicle charging in both the U.S. and Europe.
All seven have agreed on a standardized vehicle inlet and charging connector, along with a common method in which the car communicates with the charging station. They also considered the future of smart grid application and have decided to use HomePlug GreenPHY for the communication protocol. The agreement is compatible with the J1772 connector standard in the U.S., now used at Level 2 (220V in the U.S.) charging stations.
"At Ford, we know how important it is to provide technologically innovative solutions that are convenient for our customers - it's part of our 'One Ford' vision and a key factor in our company's overall success," said Steve Biegun, Ford's vice president of international government affairs. "We applied the same philosophy in working with other global automakers and governments to offer one common approach on charging electric vehicles - helping speed infrastructure development, strengthen economic growth and most importantly, make charging even more convenient for our customers.”
However, it’s a different story for Japanese cars such as the Nissan Leaf and the Mitsubishi i, which currently support the CHAdeMO standard for level 3 DC fast charging (anywhere between 300-500 volts). That means owners of Japanese EVs will likely have to use adapters for any quick charging station that isn’t CHAdeMO compatible. Tesla, which created its charging units prior to standardization, also requires an adaptor for any station outside of the automaker’s proprietary connectors for all charge levels (1,2, and 3) for both the Roadster and upcoming Tesla S sedan.