Chevy, BMW Successfully Test Charging Station

The Chevy Spark and BMW i3 will be the first cars to benefit from a new charging system capable of powering electric vehicles up to 80 percent in 20 minutes.
By Joanna Hlavacek
June 19, 2013
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Electric-car manufacturers are hoping to set an industry-wide standard for charging stations.
General Motors

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After undergoing several days of joint testing, the Chevy Spark and BMW i3 are the first cars to adopt the Society of Automotive Engineers’ recently-developed fast-charging stations.

The SAE’s new DC “Combo” Fast Charge stations will allow electric vehicles to recharge 80 percent in about 20 minutes, reports AutoblogGreen. The charging stations will be able to accommodate vehicles powered by both direct current (DC) and alternating current (AC) motors.

In addition to General Motors and BMW, six other automakers — Chrysler, Ford, Daimler, Volkswagen, Audi and Porsche — have pledged to adopt the new SAE fast-charge connector.

Manufacturers hope setting an industry-wide standard will make these charging stations more accessible to drivers and encourage electric vehicle ownership.

“This unprecedented cooperation among OEMs and equipment suppliers demonstrates the maturity of this important technology that will help speed the adoption of electric vehicles around the world,” said Britta Gross, GM director, advanced vehicle commercialization policy, in a news release.

The new charging system is scheduled for wide availability in a few months, while the Spark is set for release this month and the i3 will start deliveries later this year, according to AutoblogGreen. 

To learn more about the new fast-charge stations, watch a video of the tests.

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