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Charging Made Easy
Although electric car owners don’t have to worry about their fuel pump and fuel injectors going bad, one of the drawbacks they face is the car charge time. A Chevy Volt takes up to 10 hours using a 120 volt outlet, and about 4 if you have access to a 240 volt supply. A Nissan LEAF takes about 7 hours to reach a full charge on a 208-240V home charging station. They say most people will charge their LEAF overnight at home “similar to a cell phone”, but in time they hope to make the process more efficient. This is one of the reasons that German and U.S. automakers are joining forces to create a faster EV charger.
What they are calling the “DC Fast Charging with a Combined Charging” system, automakers are hoping to create a single plug that incorporates four different types of charging. The four types are one-phase AC-charging, fast three-phase AC-Charging, DC-charging at home and ultra-fast DC-charging at public stations. The new ultra-fast DC-charging is aimed to recharge most electric cars in as little as 15-20 minutes.
Beyond the convenience of charging time, the unity of automakers will also create the convenience of location. Although it’s unlikely you will be driving your electric cars across many continents, the hope is that the same plug design that will charge your car in the U.S. will also be able to charge your car in Europe. Although many batteries that are currently in electric cars today may not support the ultra-fast charging stations, big automakers such as Audi, BMW, Chrysler, Daimler, Ford, FM, Porsche and VW are all making the necessary steps to turn this idea into a reality.