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.