2011 Chevrolet Volt charging portEnlarge Photo
The rumblings of dissent in Europe about different electric car charging standards could now be drawing to an end.
For the past few years fans have been worried that electric cars could have a mobile phone-like situation with different plugs for every different manufacturer and different charging options for each.
Now, seven carmakers in Europe - Audi, BMW, Daimler, Ford, General Motors, Porsche and Volkswagen have jointly agreed to support a harmonized, single-port fast-charging system, shared with the United States.
Not only will the charging connectors be identical for all electric vehicles, but all seven manufacturers will also use HomePlug GreenPHY as the shared communication protocol to help integrate the cars with smart grids in the future.
The move is fantastic news for EV fans and manufacturers alike. In a release, Ford says "We applied the [philosophy of innovative, convenient solutions] in working with other global automakers and governments to offer one common approach on charging electric vehicles".
Ford says the move will help speed infrastructure development, improve economic growth and making charging more convenient.
The deal could also be further reaching for the electric car industry. With several big players signing up to a standardized charging system, it would be foolish for big carmakers such as Renault-Nissan, Toyota and others not to agree to similar standards.
Success of Level 1 and Level 2 charging and backward compatibility with the J1772 standard in the U.S. is seen as an example of how standardization is good for the electric car market, reassuring customers that they can charge wherever they are.
Soon, European electric car buyers could finally have the same reassurance.