One of the primary complaints for electric cars has been the long time periods required to charge their batteries. While regular AC charging systems, which take hours to top up a typical electric car battery, are sufficient at home or at the office, where a car may be sitting stationary for long periods, they don’t make much sense in public areas where it’s unreasonable to expect an electric car owner to sit idle for hours.
A solution to this is the DC charger, which can charge a battery to between 50 and 80 percent of its full charge in a matter of minutes. This is the key to Tesla’s revolutionary ‘Supercharger’ stations soon to be popping up all over the country.
Unfortunately, unless you own a Model S or one of Tesla’s future models, you won’t be able to use the Supercharger.
However, a recent agreement between several major automakers and the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) for a universally accepted DC charging standard means we should soon see rival DC fast charging stations crop up.
The same automakers have previously agreed on the SAE’s AC standard. They include General Motors, Ford, Chrysler, BMW, Daimler, Volkswagen, Audi and Porsche. The first electric cars expected to benefit from the new DC fast charging stations, meanwhile, are expected to be the Chevrolet Spark EV and the BMW i3.
It should be noted that at present there are almost no commercially operating DC fast charging stations in the U.S., apart from those of Tesla. That situation will change as more electric cars enter the market and the combined group of automakers start to push for installations.