South Korea to standardize on CCS fast-charging standard used by US, German makers


2017 Hyundai Ioniq Electric (European spec), 2016 Geneva Motor Show

2017 Hyundai Ioniq Electric (European spec), 2016 Geneva Motor Show

Buyers of electric vehicles in South Korea won't need to consider the pros and cons of charging standards in the near future.

The South Korean Agency for Technology and Standards announced in mid-December it would revise the current charging standard in the country to recommend the use of "Combo 1"—also known as the Combined Charging System, or CCS—for all future electric cars built there.

CCS is used by all American makers except Tesla and every German carmaker in cars like the Chevrolet Bolt EV and BMW i3.

READ MORE: Renault Samsung SM3 ZE electric sedan: battery upgrade gives 130-mile range in Korean tests

As reported by Business Korea, the new standard relieves ambiguity for automakers, most notably Hyundai and Kia.

But it does the same as well for companies that manufacture and install charging stations within the country.

The article cited a study by the Korean Society of Automotive Engineers, which said 67 percent of Korean electric vehicles used the CCS standard in 2017.

Renault Samsung SM3 ZE electric car, sold in South Korea

Renault Samsung SM3 ZE electric car, sold in South Korea

The remaining vehicles use either the Japanese CHAdeMO (Kia Soul) or European A.C. Phase 3 (Renault Samsung SM3 Z.E.) standards.

For electric cars sold in North America, only the Nissan Leaf and the low-volume Kia Soul EV use the Japanese CHAdeMO fast-charging standard.

(The even lower-volume Mitsubishi i-MiEV, now withdrawn, also used CHAdeMO.)

CHECK OUT: Dual-voltage electric-car charging cords: plug confusion for 240 volts?

Tesla uses its own charging protocol and plug for all charging, including at its Supercharger fast-charging sites. (It provides a converter cable to allow its cars to use 240-volt Level 2 public charging stations.)

Every other battery-electric vehicle with fast-charging capability uses the CCS standard—including the 2018 Hyundai Ioniq Electric.

While both CCS and CHAdeMO are now limited to 50 kilowatts in North America, higher-power charging stations are being developed and prototyped, with the next level likely to be 125 kw or 150 kw, roughly matching Tesla's Supercharger rate.

[hat tip: Matt Teske]

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