Friday, November 4, 2011

One plug fits all

The European motor industry has agreed on a common system for charging any electric car across Europe. The ACEA, the automobile manufacturers' trade association, wants one type of plug to become standard for all electric cars. The association wants regulators, infrastructure bodies and rivals across the world to adopt the same standard. Currently, several types of charging methods are used and this has resulted in the "fragmentation of the market across Europe and abroad. The main agreement announced by ACEA relates to a standardised plug. Reaching agreement on what sort of plug to use to recharge electric cars might sound easy. Not so. It is not just about agreeing on using the same plug; it is also a matter of how much electricity should be pumped through it, and how fast this should be done. Some electric cars have batteries designed to be charged slowly using ordinary household plugs, others to charge quickly using dedicated fast chargers. Traditionally, carmakers see such differences as competitive advantages that can be used to get a leg-up on the competition. But for once, when it comes to electric motoring, they see eye to eye. Read more here.

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