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Old 06-15-2009, 04:03 PM   #1 (permalink)
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EV plug has been standardized

According to this article, anyway.

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Old 06-15-2009, 10:50 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Mine is a pretty standard 3 prong 15 amp 120 volt plug, it's rather easy to find a place to charge it, most people even have extension cords that fit my cars charging plug, every plug that is used for an engine block heater works, out door Christmas lights, anything that you can plug a normal grounded cord in to will work.
But I'm glad that they are figuring out new ways to plug a car in, I was a little worried for a while.
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Old 06-15-2009, 11:12 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I'd be surprised if someone isn't trying to capitalize on making a "standard" type of connection for EV's... frankly, I'd be appalled if that's not what's happening... it would just be un-American for someone to not try to find a way to trap other American working-class citizens into being forced to use a specific thing or risk voiding some proprietary warranty.

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Old 06-16-2009, 12:50 AM   #4 (permalink)
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A locking 240VAC plug would have sufficed and delivered the same kind of charging times without having to complicate things.
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Old 06-16-2009, 03:18 AM   #5 (permalink)
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They don't even say how many amps are to be available. I hope that it is at least one of the existing configurations. It really would not complicate things too much for the charging stations to offer several "flavours." I'm glad that it isn't "Leading Manufacturer" GM's inductive type. A simple switch is the way to avoid shock hazards, if that's what had them worried.
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Old 06-16-2009, 11:23 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Hmmm... 400 volt single phase. Looks like we'll be buying transformers and new battery chargers to make the 'new standard' work. Good for infrastructure parts vendors, bad for the consumer and city that has to pay for it all.

7 million plug-in vehicles (can you say RV?) use commonly available 110v and 220v plugs - same as can be used in an electric car.
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Old 06-16-2009, 11:32 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Higher input voltage can mean a faster charge, and less amperage necessary to give the same level of charge.

Don't forget, the cars probably won't be running on a series of 12V SLA batteries, either. RV's use that electrical connection to supply the cabin with electrical power for accessories and amenities, not for powering the vehicle.

Widely known fact is that when you double the voltage, you can half the amperage for the same power output. Another widely known fact is that if you charge a 400V battery pack with 12V charger, you're in for a long day. Even at 110, it will still take nearly 4 times as many amps, and nearly 4 times as long to charge.

The point of the charging stations is a "quick top off", not an all day "watch water boil" event.
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Old 06-18-2009, 12:51 AM   #8 (permalink)
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High input voltage and amperage makes for a fast charge. Any battery suitable for an EV (regardless of chemistry or pack voltage) will charge faster - Which is a good thing.

While some batteries take power in faster than others, at typical rates (i.e. the amount of power normally available in your garage or a street plug-in post) a 10kw 144v pick-your-favorite-chemistry pack would take about the same amount of time to charge as a 10kw 400v pick-your-second-favorite-chemistry battery pack - about an hour using a 50 amp, 220v RV plug (11kw) or a 27.5 amp, 400v exotic plug (11 kw).

Not sure if you've been in an RV recently... multi-air conditioning, microwave oven, plasma TV, outdoor lighting, hydraulic leveling, etc. can challenge even a 220 volt 50 amp circuit!

The same 220v, 50 amp RV plug will give about 40 miles or so charge (per hour plugged in) to a modern EV if they have an on-board charger that can use that much power. Would a higher voltage be better? Sure!

Problem here is that above 220, higher voltages (such as 440) are typically for industrial users. Probably not available in a suburban neighborhood or typical downtown street. Want more amperage out of a 220v circuit, say 100 or 200 amps? - Possible, but then the costs go up dramatically (bigger service wire, upgraded breaker panels, etc.)

Perhaps they might want to use a transformer to 'up' the voltage. Easy solution... But transformers have some amount of loss, cost a lot, and can only give out as much power as they get in. A 400v up converted charging station will only put out 27.5 amps (less transformer losses) if fed by the normally available 220v, 50 amp circuit that will probably be used upstream of the charging station. Anything more than ~30 amps/400v would probably require a much bigger plug and wires than they show in the teaser picture.

So, what exactly is the advantage of this 400v, proprietary, high-dollar plug in system?
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Old 06-18-2009, 09:18 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TomEV View Post
So, what exactly is the advantage of this 400v, proprietary, high-dollar plug in system?
Quite probably none. I'm of the opinion that you can just have 2 flavors at a recharge point. (In the US, anyway, dunno about elsewhere). 120v, 20A, with the normal 3-prong plugs, and 240v, 50A, with the typical electric range/dryer connection. Something for everyone.

Oh, and will everyone stop saying 110v & 220v? It's 120v & 240v. (At least here in the US where it counts. )

On the topic of 480v, (which is not 440v), the step-down transformer doesn't change significantly in price to achieve the voltage, it does when changing current capacity. The step-down in front of my parents house is only 2-300A at 240v, but it gets fed from a line that is somewhere around 19,000v. So a simple transformer swap, (not that this would be cheap, though), would allow for 480v in their neighborhood.

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