It's not like the Japanese and European-American automaker contingents can agree upon a fast-charging standard for their electric vehicles, so why bother going along with either of them. That's what the BYD-Daimler partnership may have been thinking, choosing ABB as the standard supplier of fast-charging stations for the upcoming Denza model in China. ABB will use a DC-charging standard called "GBT" that complies with neither the CHAdeMO platform supported by Japanese electric-vehicle makers Nissan and Mitsubishi nor the SAE standard backed by European and US automakers.

The Shenzhen BYD Daimler New Technology Co. joint venture made its choice for ABB as it prepares to unveil the first Denza EV, which is said to be able to go 125 miles on a single charge. The wall-mounted chargers will start being sold at Denza dealerships in China mid-year. ABB has a six-year contract to make the charging stations, which will be compatible with a mobile app with a remote-charging feature.

Shenzhen BYD Daimler, which launched in 2010, said late last year that they will open the first Denza dealership in Beijing, followed by units in Shanghai and Shenzhen. The Denza is built on the platform of the first-generation Mercedes-Benz B-Class. Check out ABB's press release below.
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BDNT cooperates with ABB to roll out world's largest EV fast charger network in China

Shenzhen BYD Daimler New Technology Co., Ltd. chooses ABB to supply direct current (DC) fast chargers for rapid charging of new DENZA electric vehicle over the next six years

Zurich, Switzerland, Feb. 13, 2014 – ABB, the leading power and automation technology group, announced a strategic collaboration today with Shenzhen BYD Daimler New Technology Co., Ltd. (BDNT) to supply direct current fast chargers over the next six years for DENZA. China will become the global leader for electric vehicle (EV) fast charging.

The wall-mounted chargers will have a number of innovations designed for user convenience and safety, such as a mobile app that allows remote monitoring and control of charging sessions, with the option of charging status change notifications. First deliveries are expected in mid- 2014. The charging solution will be sold through DENZA dealerships along with the vehicle.

EVs are one of China's seven emerging strategic industries. ABB and DENZA will work together to help support China's efforts to increase sustainable mobility.

The Chinese government has introduced a direct current (DC) fast charging "GBT" standard to encourage technical innovation and stimulate market acceptance of EVs. The urban charging infrastructure will be a key driver for EV adoption. The GBT standard will give Chinese consumers the opportunity to conveniently charge their vehicles at home or at public charging stations. Public DC fast charging is expected to be rolled out in China in the near future.

"We are honored to be a partner in this venture to move urban transportation forward in a more sustainable way. By combining car sales with fast chargers, DENZA is taking a bold step to address a key obstacle for potential buyers of EVs," said Ulrich Spiesshofer, CEO of ABB Group. "ABB's EV charging solutions have been expanding rapidly worldwide as the underlying technology combines our key strengths in power electronics, software, service and power distribution."

The fully electric DENZA car is designed for journeys of more than 200 kilometers and is among the first long-range EVs to go on sale in China. Market research shows that consumers value long-range EVs, but expect short charging times. DENZA will offer its customers the convenience of fast charging at home, at work or at public charging stations.

"The DENZA represents a significant step in sustainable transportation for the Chinese automotive market. It was vital that we had the right partner to support this innovative concept," said Arno Roehringer, COO of BDNT. "ABB is the ideal technology partner for us, and – equally important – it has the service expertise to install this solution."

China's EV market is expected to quickly gain momentum in the coming years due to technology and market innovations, the GBT national fast-charging standard and favorable incentives. ABB has worked on pilot projects with local OEMs and utilities in China since 2010. In 2013, it began to build up a local EV organization to support this growth including R&D, manufacturing, logistics, and service.

Shenzhen BYD Daimler New Technology Co., Ltd. is a joint venture established by BYD Auto, a leader in China's EV industry, and Daimler AG, one of the biggest producers of premium cars and the world's biggest manufacturer of commercial vehicles with a global reach. The joint venture, established in 2010, concentrates on R&D in new energy automotive technologies and specializes in supplying high-quality, eco-friendly new energy vehicles that are safe and convenient to use. DENZA will have its world premiere at the 2014 Beijing Auto Show.

ABB (www.abb.com) is a leader in power and automation technologies that enable utility and industry customers to improve their performance while lowering environmental impact. The ABB Group of companies operates in around 100 countries and employs about 150,000 people. ABB has a full range of business activities in China, including R&D, manufacturing, sales and services, with 19,000 employees, 36 local companies, and an extensive sales and service network across 90 cities.

For help with any technical terms in this release, please go to: www.abb.com/glossary


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  • 14 Comments
      skierpage
      • 9 Months Ago
      There's no evidence at all there will be a charging network, let alone that it will be huge! "The charging solution will be sold through DENZA dealerships"... how many car buyers will pay big money for DC fast charging? And I've yet to see a wall-mounted DC fast charge system, every other one is a big standalone box, so this sounds fishy or underpowered. The only mention of a network is the vague and meaningless "Public DC fast charging is expected to be rolled out in China in the near future." "China will become the global leader for electric vehicle (EV) fast charging" is aspirational feel-good talk, not a plan. Reminds me of http://green.autoblog.com/2011/05/02/better-place-signs-deal-in-china-state-grid-wants-2-300-swap-st/ "State Grid [Corporation of China] plans to build 2,351 electric-charging and battery-swap stations with 220,000 charging poles to meet the development needs of electric-auto industry in the next five years." Well, did they? What standard are those 220,000 charging poles using? So not huge at all, probably not all DC fast-charging, and no definite plans. Meanwhile BYD are masters of misinformation and double-speak (cars, not so much), Chinese government initiatives are opaque and usually misrepresented, and the ABG "writers" shouldn't even bother trying to produce inaccurate summaries of press releases.
      paulwesterberg
      • 9 Months Ago
      Obligatory: https://xkcd.com/927/ All of these manufacturers are using their preferred "standard" in order to block foreign competitors from their home market. They will find that this strategy is a failure just like cell phone companies that try lock phones to a particular network are realizing.
        Spec
        • 9 Months Ago
        @paulwesterberg
        I know which xkcd comic that is without having to look at it. As you point out, I don't it is applicable because instead of trying to unify I'm guessing the Chinese intentionally wanted their own standard as a blocking means.
          Ryan
          • 9 Months Ago
          @Spec
          But how often are you going to be driving your US/Canada/Europe car in China? For overall price reduction based on scale and global experience using one standard would be good, but I think getting everyone on one standard within the US/Canada/Mexico would be a bigger issue.
      danfred311
      • 9 Months Ago
      No mention of power levels. Here's an illustration of the plug http://chargedevs.com/newswire/abb-to-supply-dc-fast-chargers-for-chinas-denza-ev/ Looks similar to chademo. If you're going to make a new standard, at least don't make it stupid like the existing ones...
      2 wheeled menace
      • 9 Months Ago
      That's what we need, more "standards". I miss the day when my computer had a printer port, a com port, a keyboard port, a mouse port, a gamepad port, a floppy disk port, a hard drive port, two different size power connectors, and 2-3 types of expansion card slots. That was just great. This USB / SATA / PCI express business where everything plugs into the same place is just ridiculous. The computer industry should model this! who needs industry to agree on standards and make the device more convenient to use! what hogwash! :)
        Levine Levine
        • 9 Months Ago
        @2 wheeled menace
        IEEE is an international electric electronic engineering organization that seeks to standardize certain features in consumer electronic-electrical devices. There's no equivalent in the automotive industry. SAE International, despite its suffix, is a US centric organization that caters to USA interest. CHAdeMO, of course, benefits entirely the Japanese EV auto industry. As for introducing the GBT standard, the Chinese understands the game and they aint no fool.
        Actionable Mango
        • 9 Months Ago
        @2 wheeled menace
        I'd prefer everyone use an existing standard unless a very substantial and noticeable improvement can be made. But really it's not that big a deal unless you plan on driving across the ocean to China. A much bigger problem is competing standards within one country. I don't even have an EV yet and I'm already irritated that we have Chademo, SAE, and Superchargers here in the USA.
        Joeviocoe
        • 9 Months Ago
        @2 wheeled menace
        Consumer electronics can be shipped across the globe with virtually no regulatory problem. Cars must be manufactured FOR EACH MARKET. Which means each vehicle must meet differing safety and emission standards for each market too. There is no big deal to have different countries have different DC charging standards.
      gslippy
      • 9 Months Ago
      China has its own space station - they figured they didn't need to work with the rest of the world on the "International" Space Station. So this move is no surprise, really.
        Roy_H
        • 9 Months Ago
        @gslippy
        China was shut out of the International Space Station by the USA. They were forced to go on their own. Actually, I think this may be for the best as it will create competition, and the US is not guaranteed to win.
      Jim McL
      • 9 Months Ago
      It is not another standard, it is just another connector. It is still detailed IEC 62196, along with the "Type 1" which is J1772 in the US and its sister connector for 3 phase power, the "Type 2" which looks like J1772 with a few more pins. And that old "Type 3" which is rarely seen outside of France anymore, which comes in single and 3 phase varieties. Go to Home Depot and look at how many connectors there are for 240 volts, it is mind boggling. Adapters are no big deal. EV plugs cut the variety down by an order of magnitude. China is different in that they do a lot of battery swapping and they want to use the same connector whether it is to a car or just to a battery pack. Or for that matter, to a bus battery pack. Their connector is nicer than Chademo but still retains the CAN connection instead of that power line carrier that the combo uses, which is pretty much like putting a mobile phone modem in your EVSE.
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