Plug-in vehicles, either hybrid or all electrical, are just around the corner.  The big question is how are they going to be recharged?

The answer depends a lot on who you are asking.  In the US the most significant effort is made by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE International).  A number of standards are in the works to cover vehicles charging.  That, by the way, includes a vehicle-to-grid option (V2G) that could become an interesting Smart Grid option in a not too distant future.

In parallel, in Europe efforts are made by a group comprising mostly auto manufacturers under the DKE banner (German combination DIN-VDE).  They are pushing proposals through IEC TC69, SC23H (coupler) and others.

The problem is that the approaches are not similar.  If the situation continues we'll end up with different car chargers and car couplers in various parts of the world.  The cars would have to be different too.  Since chargers will be part of the infrastructure things would remain in this situation for many years to come.  Is there a serious reason for that?  Couldn't automotive manufacturers get together and settle on one system good for whole world?  We'd all benefit.


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