Much like cell phones, electric cars often feature a vast array of battery charging options, with different plugs and battery connectors for each brand and model of car. This has been the source of frustration for electric car owners in Europe, who have often been inconvenienced by different charging standards between cars. But a recent collaborative effort from seven of the largest automakers could put an end to all those frustrations.
Audi, BMW, Daimler, Ford, General Motors, Porsche and Volkswagen have all agreed to standardize their electric vehicle charging systems to provide a common charging infrastructure and better user experience. Electric cars manufactured by the seven automakers will not only share identical charging standards, they will also share a common communication protocol called HomePlug GreenPHY. This communication protocol will facilitate better integration between electric vehicles and smart grid technology in the future.
The automakers stated that: “the development of a common charging approach is good for customers, the industry and charging infrastructure providers. Standardization will reduce build complexity for manufacturers, accelerate the installation of common systems internationally and most importantly, improve the ownership experience for EV drivers.”
Furthermore, by implementing common charging mechanisms between seven of the largest automakers, other car manufacturers would be seriously amiss in not agreeing to similar standards.
Already, the U.S. has achieved a fairly effective standardization system. Level 1 and Level 2 charging and backward compatibility with the J1772 standard has reassured EV owners that they can charge their electric cars wherever they are. Plus with an increasing number of charging stations opening up around the world, more and more car owners may see electric vehicles as a viable option for transportation in urban areas.
Image CC licensed by Gabriel Rodríguez: EV charging station