SAE Fast Charger Standard May Clash with CHAdeMO, or Maybe Not

One hot top­ic last month at the Plug-in 2012 con­fer­ence in San Anto­nio, Texas – from pan­el speak­ers and dis­cussed at meals – was the SAE com­ing out in August with elec­tric vehi­cle DC fast charg­er stan­dards for those inter­est­ed in charg­ing up with­in a half hour. The ques­tion of whether the Japan­ese CHAde­MO stan­dard used by Nis­san and Mit­subishi, or the dual-unit SAE fast charg­er stan­dard with both Lev­el 2 and DC fast charg­er ports, will pre­vail, seems sim­i­lar to the strug­gle between Beta­max and VHS in the 1980s.

Com­pa­nies like Schnei­der Elec­tric, ECO­tal­i­ty, Charge­Point, Clip­per Creek, and Siemens, and oth­ers, are installing charg­ing net­works inte­grat­ed into their own back-office oper­a­tions. Elec­tric vehi­cle own­ers are giv­en ser­vices for find­ing the charg­ing sta­tions near­est to them. Speak­ers on pan­els did tend to agree that no mat­ter what tech­nol­o­gy pre­vails, or if CHAde­MO and SAE stan­dard­ized charg­ing sta­tions are both per­va­sive in the mar­ket, the net­work sys­tems are like­ly to inte­grate with, and adapt to, what­ev­er charg­ing tech­nol­o­gy they add to their net­works. Long term, the issue should be resolved.

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