Volvo calls for standardized electric car chargers
A Volvo S90 plug-in hybrid using a roadside charging point. (Volvo)
Published Wednesday, March 9, 2016 10:12AM EST
Dr. Peter Mertens, the Swedish premium car brand's senior vice president for research & development, on Wednesday called for carmakers to put aside differences and work together on developing an electric vehicle charging infrastructure compatible with all plug-in cars.
Mertens believes that a unified standard will be the only way to address consumers' fears regarding range anxiety and to help drive electric car ownership into the mainstream.
"We see that a shift towards fully electric cars is already underway, as battery technology improves, costs fall and charging infrastructure is put in place," said Dr Mertens. "But while we are ready from a technology perspective, the charging infrastructure is not quite there yet. To really make range anxiety a thing of the past, a globally standardized charging system is sorely needed."
As such, Volvo is supporting the Combined Charging System standard, a form of charger capable of rapid three-phase and standard single-phase charging, jointly developed and supported by a number of stakeholders in the automotive industry.
The company is voicing its concerns and showing its support now as the charging requirements for the next generation of battery-powered cars, be they fully electric or plug-in hybrid, are still in the consultation stage.
Volvo also hinted that this lack of cohesion is why it is yet to launch a full electric car, preferring plug-in hybrid technology in the short term. However, the first full Volvo EV is expected to arrive in 2019, when similar cars from Porsche, Audi, Volkswagen and Ford are also expected to launch.
"We are very happy to support and be involved in the setting of standards for electric vehicle charging systems," said Dr. Mertens. "The lack of such a standard is one of the main obstacles for growing electric vehicles' share of the market."