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Recharging EV Interest: GM, BMW Finish DC Fast Charger Testing

Quickly recharging electric vehicles is about to get much easier. BMW and General Motors engineers have finished testing on SAE Combo DC Fast Charge stations developed by different suppliers, making sure each is capable of providing a quick charge for electric vehicles including the BMW i3 and Chevrolet Spark EV. With hardware and software details confirmed, suppliers can begin expanding SAE Combo DC Fast Charge infrastructure, potentially making serious consideration of electric vehicles more realistic for consumers who aren’t always able to charge vehicles overnight.

BMW i3 concept front side view 300×199 imageEight automakers have agreed to use the SAE combo fast charge connector, meaning future electric vehicles from those brands can all plug into the same fast chargers and potentially recharge batteries up to 80 percent in 20 minutes. Involved automakers include GM, BMW, Ford, Volkswagen, Mercedes, Chrysler, Audi, and Porsche. The BMW i3 concept is shown at right.

The standard involves a single charge port on electric vehicles, with combined AC and DC charging capabilities. The Chevrolet Spark EV and BMW i3 will be the first vehicles in the U.S. to offer the SAE Combo DC Fast Charge, but not every automaker is onboard with the SAE standard.


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