Problems of electrical connectors
Electric vehicle market is dynamically developing. According to the forecasts of the European Commission, by 2020 the number of electric vehicles in Europe will be several million copies. Their charging needs large network of charging stations. But their creation prevents many reasons, for example the uncertainty of standards. Each manufacturer uses its own battery, charging parameters and electrical connectors.
USA: J1772 and Supercharger
US Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) in 2009 developed five-pin standards J1772 connector, designed for charging from AC power. This is the most universal connector, available in almost all electric vehicles. In order to achieve greater uniformity the updated connector J1772 standard was introduced in 2012. Its design allows charging electric vehicle battery by AC, DC or both types of electric current at the same time. The new connector is an old five-pin connector supplemented with a plug to connect the DC. Thus, electric cars of yesteryear can be connected to new battery terminals without additional conversion. Updated J1772 standard also defines the voltage levels applied to the connector, and requires the installation of additional security features that allow you to connect and disconnect in all weather conditions.
American manufacturer Tesla Motors develops its own network of charging stations, working on the Supercharger technology. Solar panels convert sunlight into electricity, which is stored in Ultra-accumulator (500 kW / h). Full charging takes less than half an hour. Remarkably, the charge is free. The accumulated surplus of the electricity will be sold to energy companies.
Europe: Mennekes Type 2
In January 2013, the European Commission announced the development of environment friendly fuels. It has been established with pan-European type of connector for charging stations and electric vehicles. German company Mennekes developed Connector Type 2 (according to the international IEC 62196-2 standard). The commission’s decision was not voluntarist, it only officially approved the fact that this type of connector is most widely used in Europe. It allows you to switch power circuits up to 43.5 kW and a current up to 63 A. It is used in single-phase and three-phase networks.
CHAdeMO – Standard of fast charging of electric vehicle with direct current via a special connector. The name comes from the contraction of the French words «charge de move», that can be translated as “charge for moving.” Association «CHAdeMO» was founded in 2010 by the Tokyo Power Company ( «TEPCO»), companies «Nissan», «Mitsubishi» and «Subaru», later «Toyota» joined them too. Charging power is 50 kW to 100 kW, enable to charge a battery to 80% of its capacity for half an hour. CHAdeMO charging stations are available in Japan, Europe and USA. But Americans and Europeans with their own standards clearly want CHAdeMO to get out of ev charging market.
Automakers: Combined Charging System
In May 2012, eight of the largest European and American manufacturers (Audi, BMW, Chrysler, Daimler, Ford, General Motors, Porsche, Volkswagen) announced a single standard of their electric vehicles: Combined Charging System. This type of connector allows you to charge any of four international standard IEC 62196-2 modes: slow charging from a household power socket; slow charging from a household outlet via a cable with a built-in protection device; slow or fast charging via a special connector with a charge control and protection functions; fast charging from an external charger. Thus, the connector-equipped electric Combined Charging System can be connected to any network and charging stations.
Better Place: quick-change of battery
This project, widely publicized at the time, now seems to have no prospects. It is supported in only two countries (Israel and Denmark), and only one car manufacturer (Renault). The idea was to create a network of stations where electric vehicle would not recharged, but the dead battery will be simply changed with a new one. Neither in the EU nor in the USA Better Place has not been developed due to economic reasons. Automakers do not wish to join it for technical reasons: this system requires modifying a battery and the design for quick battery replacement leads to an increase of weight of an electric vehicle. Moreover, Better Place uses its own connector and the other voltage values.