High power Combined Charging System (CCS) charging points, standardised by the EU in 2011, have started to be installed into EV charging networks in the UK.
These Rapid ‘Combo’chargers, supplied by ABB, were announced to arrive in the UK at the beginning of 2014 and now there are 12 points based in Milton Keynes as part of Chargemaster’s POLAR network. Other suppliers will also be installing CCS points in the coming months across several networks.
The CCS inlet is currently available on three UK EV’s: the BMW i3, the VW e-golf and the VW e-up. It allows you to connect to both a CCS DC and a Type 2 Mennekes AC connector for charging up to 50kW DC and 43kW AC respectively.
The EU plans for CCS to be the norm for rapid EV charging by 2017. It already has the support of several large manufacturers including BMW, Volkswagen, Audi, Ford, GM, Porsche and Dailmer.
However, its main competitor, the Japanese JARI DC system (using the CHADeMO standard) is likely to remain in widespread use given the popularity of the Nissan LEAF which relies on this connector type for DC charging.
Despite some way to go, eventual standardization of chargers and connectors will accelerate the installation of common systems. Not only will this benefit EV users, it will also help manufacturers by reducing build complexity and in turn production costs.
More recently, triple option charging units have been developed to provide rapid charging services to all vehicles able to accept charging rates of at least 43kW. For example, the ABB Terra 53 chargers, that have now reached the UK, have the ability not only to support CCS charging (50kW) but also CHADeMO DC (50kW) and Rapid AC (43kW) or Fast AC (22kW).
To find out whether your EV is compatible with CCS DC or Rapid AC charging, check out Zap-Map’s Connector Selector. Alternatively find your nearest CCS and/or Rapid AC points on Zap-Map live.