back to article It's US vs Europe as world e-car plug standard race nears end

It looks like the US, Europe and several of the world's major car manufacturers are set to agree on a standard power connector for plug-in e-cars. Or rather two standards: one for the new world, one for the old. Due to be unveiled at a Hanover technology fair on Monday by German energy company RWE, the Euro plug uses three …

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Padlocked cable

You don't want to padlock the cable to the car and the charging post. What happens when someone drives off forgetting about it? We've seen the pics from petrol stations.

And there is no chance I'll be able to get parked near one. I park in the street as I have a flat. Its difficult enough finding a spot big enough for a car when some idiots like parking one car in the middle of two spaces because they cant park properly. When there is a space, you have to watch for trees, lamp posts and wheely bins blocking your door before you park before they put on some charging posts.

Stick these things in and you'd either need to space them along every street in the UK at half car lengths or you'd risk not being able to park at one.

If I'm driving across the UK and run low on juice, I fill up in minutes with petrol. I'd have to plan a route in advance with a hotel at the right distance down which has charging posts in its carpark.

Plugging in cars to charge them is an impractical idea.

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re. tax

They won't bother to tax the leccy, they'll just introduce comprehensive road charging.

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Its a money thing

Whenever this comes up one side goes for the cheap limited option the other side goes for something better with a longer life expectancy.

The US thing sounds like its domestic only. There is no high rate fast charge option which presumably an electric filling station (super-capacitor array, underground flywheel, gas turbine) could offer.

Of course if they had gone with IEC 60309 (or agreed that an extension of that standard would sort them out) things would have gone a lot further.

However this is a good thing in principle. People are thinking infrastructure. Unbundling charging from buying an EV. Potential competition.

The agreement may not be perfect. But getting an agreement to begin with is a start. Cautious thumbs up.

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Boffin

To all those saying US doesn't have three phase to the house...

But it seems you have two of the three phases (240? volt for cookers) already! In Europe we use the normal single phase 220-240V with thicker cable and a bigger fuse for cookers. We therefore only have single phase to the house, but the substation (3phase) transformer has a Y wound secondary with blocks of houses fed from each phase-to-ground to balance the load and stop the centre tap earth/ground from wondering too far from 0V.

Kerbside charging stations could, therefore pick up all three phases from the underground cables. I assume it is similar in the US. It would be engineering stupity to put the whole neighbourhood on a single phase and ignore the other two. (The distribution networks are always 3 phase, but usually delta with no ground, hence the use of delta-Y transformers in the substation in Europe and America to provide a 0V centre tap)

A three phase charging system at least gives the option of using (domestic) single phase for "trickle" charging. Designing for single phase removes the option of high speed commercial charging stations. Domestic supplies don't cut it for high speed charging.

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@GrahamT

I didn't know about the septics using 2ph for their cookers. Although anyone setting such a standard as the plug should be familiar with the US 2nd level distribution network. You have to wonder, does the cost of such a plug change the price of an EV *that* much?

That the US would not adopt a European standard is a given. Choosing such a limited and inflexible design is above and beyond the duty of fail.

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Anonymous Coward

@GrahamT

Predominating US distribution is 3-phase Wye into the neighborhod and to feed 4-10 households from one step-down transformer connected to just one of the phases (A, B, or C) and ground. The step-down creates two 180-degree opposite hot leads with a center-tapped neutral. Different than 120-degree shifts of real 3-phase. If one 100 Amp 7500 Volt fuse up the street blows it takes out only 1/3 of the neighborhood services by the step-downs on that phase.

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