The 2013 Plug In Conference in San Diego, CA was not only the site of a big meeting of the minds for EV companies this week, it was also where a SAE Combo Fast Charging station has been installed – and used – for the first time. NRG built the station, which charged both a BMW i3 and a Chevy Spark EV, the two first cars on the market that can accept the new-fangled dongle. The fast charger can fill an empty EV battery to around 80 percent in under 30 minutes.

The charging station is located at the Fashion Valley Mall and is now ready to accept any EV with the Combined Charging Standard (CCS) installed. Since the i3 will not be available in the US until early next year and the first fast-charging Spark will not arrive until late December, it's a little ahead of the game. The CCS option will cost between $500 and $1,000, according to Green Car Reports.

The competing fast-charge solution is CHAdeMO, which works with properly equipped Nissan Leaf and Mitsubishi i EVs. The most current data from the CHAdeMO organization says there are 306 of these fast chargers in the US. The SAE Combo charger is supported by a wide variety of manufacturers, including GM and BMW, obviously, as well as Ford, Chrysler, Daimler and the Volkswagen family.





Show full PR text
Mall Gets First Public SAE Fast-Charging Station for EVs
Chevrolet Spark EV will be first with SAE combo connector option in late December


SAN DIEGO – The SAE International DC "Combo" Fast Charge station installation at the Fashion Valley Mall here is a milestone for plug-in electric vehicles – the first public installation in the U.S. of an industry-coordinated standard for fast charging of plug-in electric vehicles.

The Chevrolet Spark EV, available in California and Oregon, will be the first EV in the U.S. to offer the SAE International fast-charge connector as a vehicle option starting in late December.

"The launch of these new charge stations will help improve the convenience and adoption of electric vehicles because they dramatically reduce the charge time," said Pamela Fletcher, executive chief engineer of electrified vehicles at General Motors. "The SAE Combo DC fast charge stations are the result of EV industry collaboration to help customers benefit from available public infrastructure."

The new combined AC and DC charging, or combo, connector is accessible via a single charge port on the vehicle and allows electricity to flow at a faster rate, making EVs more convenient for longer trips and for EV owners who may lack convenient access to overnight home charging.

"San Diego Gas & Electric applauds the collaborative efforts it took to make San Diego home to the world's first retail SAE DC fast charge station," said Lee Krevat, director of smart grid and clean transportation for the utility. "Our local drivers that have vehicles equipped with this charging system connector will be the true beneficiaries of this technology."

Many major automakers including GM, Ford, Chrysler, BMW, Daimler, Volkswagen, Audi and Porsche have announced they will adopt the SAE combo fast charge connector standard. Earlier, many of the world's major automakers had adopted the SAE's 120V/240V AC connector standard to assure plug-in vehicles could access all charging infrastructure regardless of vehicle make or model.

About Chevrolet
Founded in 1911 in Detroit, Chevrolet is now one of the world's largest car brands, doing business in more than 140 countries and selling more than 4.5 million cars and trucks a year. Chevrolet provides customers with fuel-efficient vehicles that feature spirited performance, expressive design, and high quality. More information on Chevrolet models can be found at www.chevrolet.com.


Born Electric BMW i3 Charges at First Ever Public Charging Station with Combo-Charging DC Fast Charging System

BMW i3 among the first EVs to use Combo-Charging inlet for all charging


Woodcliff Lake, NJ – September 30, 2013 – 8:00pm PDT/11:00pm EDT... A BMW i3 was fully charged in under 30-minutes today at the first-ever public charging station in the US to offer the SAE Combo-Charging fast charging system. The public charging station is located at the Fashion Valley Mall in San Diego, CA. The optional fast charging system will enable the BMW i3 driver to charge their EV from a standard 110 volt outlet with a cord set, a 220 volt charging wallbox or public charging station and also from a DC Fast Charging public charging station all from the same charging inlet.

"The start of the public DC Combo Fast Charging Infrastructure installations in the US is a great base for the US launch of the new BMW i3, because it will offer our customers the ability to recharge their EV in less than 30 minutes instead of the three hours needed with conventional 220 volt public charging stations" said Cliff Fietzek, Manager Connected eMobility at BMW of North America.

The Combo Charging System is a joint development between most OEMs and the EV industry. BMW and General Motors together tested several Combo Charging Stations from various suppliers both in Munich, Germany and Warren, Michigan. OEMs worked together with the EV industry to confirm a DC combo-charging standard. Major automakers including BMW, GM, Ford, Chrysler, Daimler, Volkswagen, Audi and Porsche have committed to adopting the combo fast charge connector standard.

This installation of the first-ever public charging station to use the SAE standard DC Fast Charging Combo Charging System at the Fashion Valley Mall in San Diego, CA is another milestone for BMW on the road to the launch of the Born Electric BMW i3 in the US. The growing DC "Combo" public charging infrastructure in the US will be accessible for the all-electric BMW i3 when equipped with the DC Fast Charging option. Production has begun in Leipzig, Germany of the the BMW i3, which will be available in the US in the second quarter of 2014.

BMW Group In America

BMW of North America, LLC has been present in the United States since 1975. Rolls-Royce Motor Cars NA, LLC began distributing vehicles in 2003. The BMW Group in the United States has grown to include marketing, sales, and financial service organizations for the BMW brand of motor vehicles, including motorcycles, the MINI brand, and the Rolls-Royce brand of Motor Cars; DesignworksUSA, a strategic design consultancy in California; a technology office in Silicon Valley and various other operations throughout the country. BMW Manufacturing Co., LLC in South Carolina is part of BMW Group's global manufacturing network and is the exclusive manufacturing plant for all X5 and X3 Sports Activity Vehicles and X6 Sports Activity Coupes. The BMW Group sales organization is represented in the U.S. through networks of 338 BMW passenger car and BMW Sports Activity Vehicle centers, 139 BMW motorcycle retailers, 119 MINI passenger car dealers, and 34 Rolls-Royce Motor Car dealers. BMW (US) Holding Corp., the BMW Group's sales headquarters for North America, is located in Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey.

Information about BMW Group products is available to consumers via the Internet at: www.bmwgroupna.com


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
  • 31 Comments
      JakeY
      • 1 Year Ago
      @ATC blog Afganistan I saw the adapter news at TMC. At $1k for a 25kW adapter (based on current information) it's quite expensive. The SAE one from all indications will be about $100 for a 30kW one (same format as current J1772 on) and likely much less than $1k for the full power one. SAE is pin-to-pin compatible with Tesla's current connector, which should help reduce cost and bulk. I'm in the market for a Gen3 and I would greatly prefer the SAE adapter to the CHAdeMO one (just based on bulk and cost), esp. given the 200 dual standard stations that NRG will be rolling out (plus other ones to be installed in Sacramento, where I typically travel). I think given similar amounts of SAE and CHAdeMO stations, SAE will eventually win out. Local and federal government and also the US/Euro automakers tends to side with SAE. And unless Nissan maintains a majority share of the market forever (an unlikely scenario, unless EVs remain a niche forever), they will eventually lose.
      Ashton
      • 1 Year Ago
      I think this will be a future standard, but it still isn't as fast as Tesla's superchargers...
      Actionable Mango
      • 1 Year Ago
      Relevant XKCD. http://xkcd.com/927/
      jeff
      • 1 Year Ago
      Betamax vs VHS.... How will win? My guess = Tesla....
        Val
        • 1 Year Ago
        @jeff
        Ah, but you see, there was never a betamax->VHS adapter, while it is fairly easy for tesla to make an adapter that enables the use of those charging stations.
        jsongster
        • 1 Year Ago
        @jeff
        Beta was better tech... VHS better marketing... so... Tesla is not sharing... but they want CHAdeMo to share... how about a CHAdeMo station at each Supercharger station... I'd even pay for the charge...
      Joeviocoe
      • 1 Year Ago
      Double Format all the way across the sky... what does it mean?
      aatheus
      • 1 Year Ago
      My personal preference would be to replace the existing J1772 port on the Leaf with a SAE-CCS port. Then you get J1772+Fast Charge and CHAdeMO. Dual-format car!
      Michael Walsh
      • 1 Year Ago
      Still no cars being sold yet that actually have this connector fitted to them. None.
        Spec
        • 1 Day Ago
        @Michael Walsh
        Excellent! They are starting to get the infrastructure deployed in advance.
      CoolWaters
      • 1 Year Ago
      That's a funky car, should have a better paint job.
      Joeviocoe
      • 1 Year Ago
      oops, that came out wrong. Leave the current Chademo chargers, but now that Nissan is producing Leafs in the U.S. , time to join with the U.S. standard. American Automakers, BMW and VW/Audi are likely to NOT choose Chademo. And with all that variety coming soon, let's leave the Japanese standard to the JDM.
      Joeviocoe
      • 1 Year Ago
      It would be nice for EV owners if it were at least very inexpensive to convert formats. Power levels that the battery can handle are about the same, all they need is logic circuitry to tell the fast charger the upper limit, and of course the plug adapter.
      Actionable Mango
      • 1 Year Ago
      It looks like SAE will take off and CHAdeMO will stagnate. It would be nice to see SAE retrofit kits for CHAdeMO cars.
        jsongster
        • 1 Day Ago
        @Actionable Mango
        I would guess that there would be a way to update the SAE Jconnector on Nissan and Mitsu and Kia cars... Hook the J connector into the DC qc circuits and add some logic to interact properly with them... Just like in a few years their may be higher capacity batteries to replace the one my car comes with now... The winner will be the cars with the most copies sold... so far... Leaf and Model S. Neither of which uses the new connector. with the price of the CHAdeMo chargers approaching 10k... and leap frog rescue cars that can use their batteries to give a jump start to a fellow CHAdeMo user... and Vehicle to Grid solutions already in place... THE SAE GUYS BETTER STOP MAKING COMPLIANCE CARS AND GET INTO THE REAL GAME! It seems obvious that some measure of this is stalling for time. In the SF Bay Area we are approaching over 10 CHAdeMo DC Quick Chargers now... I personally have leaned on 3 of those 10 and plan to use the rest any day now... The range of my LEAF is now over 150 to 200 miles in almost any direction. Finish the West Coast Electric Highway and it will be amazing. Mexico to Canada and hopefully at least to Reno and Vegas in the East. For most folks out here in the west... that is the known universe.
        ATC blog Afganistan
        @Actionable Mango
        Unfortunately for you, for every Frankenplug charger that NRG/eVgo will install, there will be a CHAdeMO sitting right next to it. There won't ever be "SAE retrofit kits" for cars. Tesla just yesterday released their CHAdeMO adaptor so that that the 10's of thousands of Model S cars can charge there. Another huge win for CHAdeMO.
          JakeY
          • 1 Day Ago
          @ATC blog Afganistan
          Like I said in a comment below, even given dual format stations, I think SAE will eventually win. All that needs to happen is that a significant amount of SAE stations are installed (similar to the CHAdeMO count). A single player in a format almost always loses (Tesla is a "neutral" player, they need an adapter for either format).
      Joeviocoe
      • 1 Year Ago
      Sigh... so there are no adapters to plug in a Nissan Leaf into a SAE CCS??? More importantly... There are no adapters to plug in a BMW i3 into a Chademo??? Sales of both, would benefit if they just picked ONE. Screw it, give me an adapter to plug into a Tesla Supercharger too :)
        Joeviocoe
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Joeviocoe
        Honestly, I think I would rather have SAE take priority here in the U.S. It is MUCH easier to change the 135 Chademo chargers to SAE CCS than the thousands of Leafs and Mitsu i's
        JakeY
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Joeviocoe
        I think the situation going forward are dual standard stations (this one also supports CHAdeMO). Tesla's standard supposedly is very similar to SAE Combo, so I assume they will have an adapter once the chargers start being installed more broadly. GM did lobby for all stations in California to be CCS only (no CHAdeMO support) but was met with large backlash from the Leaf community.
    • Load More Comments