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CA To Get Dual-Standard DC Quick-Charging For Electric Cars

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SAE Combo connector in 2014 Chevrolet Spark EV prototype, Sausalito, CA, Nov 2012

SAE Combo connector in 2014 Chevrolet Spark EV prototype, Sausalito, CA, Nov 2012

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Charging stations rolling out across California will soon be compatible not only with existing CHAdeMO connections, but with newer SAE Combo connectors too.

The Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) has for some time had plans for a roll-out of more fast charging points in the Sacramento area, but that has moved a step forward with the purchase of several Efacec DC fast chargers.

The first of these will be installed at SMUD headquarters, says the Sacramento Electric Vehicle Association (SacEV), and be available to the public. And while initially the chargers will only support CHAdeMO connections--used by most existing electric vehicles--they have the option to be upgraded once cars using the SAE Combo connectors come on stream.

These include an option on the new Chevrolet Spark EV arriving this fall, as well as upcoming BMW and Volkswagen electric vehicles. The two charging options means each of the SMUD/Efacec chargers will be able to serve every electric vehicle on sale in the U.S.

As SacEV reports, the first such charger--CHAdeMO only, for now--was installed in Davis, California a few weeks back.

The Efacec DC fast chargers are capable of charging the average electric vehicle in 30 minutes. An agreement with SemaConnect will give drivers several options for payment, including credit card, using a smartphone app, calling an 800 number or visiting a website. The J1772 Level 2 chargers installed next to each fast charger can be used for no fee.

[Hat tip: Brian Henderson]

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