General Motors and BMW AG engineers are pleased with how the industry-coordinated DC “Combo” Fast Charge stations performed after several days of testing. The stations stem from multiple suppliers will consistently allow an electric vehicle to take on an 80 percent charge in about 20 minutes. Still not the five-minute fuel-stop, but they’re getting there.
The stations also set the Society of Automotive Engineers new industry standard for DC fast charging, with the first vehicles from BMW and GM that will benefit from them are the Chevrolet Spark EV and the BMW i3.
The early nod from the automakers will also accelerate efforts to roll out SAE Combo DC Fast Charge infrastructure in the coming months. Among the suppliers participating in the testing were ABB, Aker Wade, Eaton and IES. In addition, eight automakers – GM, Ford, Chrysler, BMW, Daimler, Volkswagen, Audi and Porsche – have committed to adopting the SAE combo fast charge connector, the first steps towards standardization of the DC Fast Charge connectors.
The DC Fast Charge option is expected to be available a few months after the Spark EV launches in California and Oregon this summer, with a starting price of $27,495, before incentives.