• May 20, 2009
What does the plug used both by the Mini D project by Vattenfall al and BMW and the "e-mobility" project by RWE and Smart look like? Just like the one pictured above, which is a creation of a company called Mennekes. Getting all the interested parties to agree on a standard plug isn't an easy thing, so some initiatives had been taken to make the Mennekes plug the standard model, at least in Europe.

The plug works both for single phase 230-Volt connections, the vast majority of European outlets, as well as three-phasing up to 63 amps and 400 Volts, which results in a much shorter recharging time. It includes not only a connector, but also communication interfaces. A "plug present" contact, for example, turns on the immobilizer and a "Pilot Control" contact facilitates the exchange of data between the vehicle and charging station. In the U.S., the J1772 connector will likely be the new standard for plug-in vehicles.

[Source: Auto News]


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 25 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      The charging port door itself could be locked.. duh!
      • 5 Years Ago
      Given how these "standards" are just now being decided on, and how most car companies will sell in both US and European markets, why couldn't they come up with a common standard?
      • 5 Years Ago
      Doesn't look like it has a lock, which is the most important thing. If I want to charge my car on my drive or on a public road the plug will need to be locked into the socket so some idiotic kid doesn't decide to disconnect it for a joke and leave me without any charge. I can't beleive that they are overlooking this point, hopefully they will realize the problem!
        • 5 Years Ago
        Don't count on it, what happens if they need to tow your car?
        • 5 Years Ago
        Not bad, but having it physically locked into place too would be very sensible IMO.
        • 5 Years Ago
        It has a communication channel too, meaning that it can recognize the car it is charging, so it is easy to block it from charging other cars without authorisation. No old fashioned lock needed.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Forgot to add that in case of simple disconnecting, it is easy to implement some warning system.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Alan, that doesn't sound safe to me. What if there is a problem and the car needs to be moved?
      • 5 Years Ago
      Ouch! I can imagine that this decision will not set very well with Mitsubishi. They designed the iMiEV with an on-board charger to handle both 120V and 240V on the right side of the vehicle; and a different receptacle on the left side to merely connect to an off-board high speed 480V charger.

      This plug mandates that ONE port have an on-board charger to handle everything, yet up to only 400V --less than the high speed chargers currently being developed by outfits like AeroEnvironment, Coulomb, Clipper Creek, etc.

      I still say that "standard" plugs at the curb and in the garage are the answer, and let the auto manufacturers supply an appropriate cable, with whatever plug they want to use on the vehicle's end. Wanna bet that this is what EV drivers will eventually wire together themselves with adapters anyway?
      • 5 Years Ago
      I would like to see a door/lid that is hinged on top so it could come down and protect the connections from bad weather while charging.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Good idea! It could have several positions, fully open so it's easy to access it and folded down so it protects the wire. Lets hope some automaker reads ABG.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Well, so much for that. The new standard has met the same fate as the last 10 standard power connectors for EVs.

      Unbelievable.
      • 5 Years Ago
      you probably don't want a lock due to drive off's. Or if you do have a lock there better be a quick disconnect due to people driving off forgetting it is pluged in. Could get very interesting with the high voltage but like some said with the sense line it most likely will have a warning on the charger and the car. People still drive off from gas staions, you have to keep it simple for the simple people.
      I do like the handle on this charger, easier for lining it up with the car like a gas pump.
        • 5 Years Ago
        From the summary: "turns on the immobilizer"

        Drive-offs while plugged in are a non-issue.
        • 5 Years Ago
        The article says it detects if it is plugged in and activates the immobilizer.

        If the manufacturers don't do it I can see a third-party market for cables that lock and have a metal exterior to prevent them being cut (like public phone box cables). I'd definitely buy one.
      harlanx6
      • 5 Years Ago
      An inexpensive adapter will be available, since the world is too stupid to standardize.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @harlanx6
        We've been hearing about the J1772 plug for almost a year now. SAE really needs to get off their butts and finalize and release the standard to manufacturers if they want it to be anything more than an afterthought. With any more foot-dragging, I could sell see Tesla (who sell in Europe) and the rest just equiping their cars with this plug.

        Not that that would necessarily be a bad thing, but then SAE would be the interloper when J1772 is ready, rather than the standard-setter.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Great. People now have to worry the plug in car they buy will be obsolete in 5 years or require an expensive conversion. It's kind of like people who bought Betamax and not VHS.

      Why not use the same pattern as current plug outlets and avoid this altogether?
        • 5 Years Ago
        Current 380V-cables are bulky and takes alot of strength to plug together. This looks much nimbler.
      • 5 Years Ago
      People keep complaining that there isn't a standard. What are talking about? We got lots and lots of standards! Just about everybody has their own standard!

      Oh, wait...
      • 5 Years Ago
      The best way to charge an electric car is through magnetically coupled resonnance, see http://web.mit.edu/newsoffice/2007/wireless-0607.html .

      A magnetic loop buried in your drive way can transfer power to a loop on the bottom of your electric car parked a few inches above it. A wireless data link can handle all the positioning, security, timing, electricity price issues.
        • 5 Years Ago
        A field large enough to charge your car with would have side effects. Additionally, it's exactly the kind of large-scale electro-magnetic field that some people say causes health problems.
        • 5 Years Ago
        As well as being less efficient the buried cable or coil can be a danger to people with pacemakers so OSHA will get involved and that will be the end of that.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Except that the efficiency of the energy transfer(50% loss) is horrible.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I don't want to have to use a 'charging port' I want to charge it on my drive.
    • Load More Comments