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Wissmann: Decision on charging connectors will boost electric cars

Berlin, 01 April 2014

EU agrees on Europe-wide standard for charging connectors

Today the European Parliament’s Transport Committee endorsed a draft Directive defining a Europe-wide standard connector for the charging infrastructure for electric cars. Matthias Wissmann, President of the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA), commented: “This decision finally determines which connector will be the future standard in Europe. It provides planning security for customers and manufacturers alike, and will help boost the popularity of electric vehicles on the market – something which is also desired by politicians in particular.”

In future, electric-vehicle charging points in Europe will have to take a standard “Type 2” connector. Wissmann stressed, “Brussels is thus sending out a clear signal: in the future Type 2 will be the charging connector for use throughout the EU. Drivers of electric vehicles will therefore have the security of knowing that they can recharge their vehicles at charging points anywhere in Europe. Companies and institutions that wish to be involved in establishing the charging infrastructure now know which technology to go for. In short, we now finally have a connector for Europe.”

The European Commission’s original draft also contained proposed targets for expanding the charging infrastructure in the individual countries. These specific requirements were, however, not supported by the EU Member States. Wissmann stated, “The German automotive industry regrets this. The expansion of the charging infrastructure is an important and effective lever for market penetration. We should concentrate on setting up public charging points. It would therefore have been expedient to introduce specific obligations for the Member States. Now that EVs are available for purchase – the German manufacturers alone will have 16 electric cars on the roads by the end of this year – the drivers of EVs need a large number of easily accessible and usable charging pillars.”

The new standard system is the Combined Charging System (CCS) developed by the automotive industry. It comprises a Type 2 AC connector, a Combo 2 DC connector, the appropriate socket, and the necessary control system for the charging process and billing. The Type 2 connector enables all EVs in Europe to be charged using alternating current. The Combo 2 DC connector (a Type 2 connector with two additional pins for direct current) is used for fast recharging. A single socket receiving both types of plug is all that is required on the vehicle. Wissmann emphasised, “CCS now represents a major step on the path towards a standard charging infrastructure in Europe. The standardised connector will make electric driving simple, practicable and safe – even across national borders.”

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