What Is CCS (Combined Charging System) Charging?

CCS Charging

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Electric Cars: The Basics

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What Is A CCS Electric Car Charger?

For those of you new to electric driving, in general, electric cars can be charged at home or at a public/ semi-public EV charging destination. Residential EV charging is AC charging and most public EV charging destinations, include a mix of AC charging stations and DC rapid/ ultra-rapid EV chargers.

Most pure electric cars, also known as battery-electric vehicles (BEVs), will incorporate DC charging capability, while most plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) will only incorporate AC charging, given the smaller onboard EV battery for a PHEV.

DC rapid/ ultra-rapid EV charging is faster, if not significantly faster than AC EV charging. DC charging speeds vary between 50 kW DC to 350 kW DC, though the majority of currently available DC chargers are up to 100 kW DC. In comparison, most homes in the UK are powered by single-phase power supply and charging at home will be single-phase (7.2 kW). It is worth noting that three-phase (11 kW/ 22kW) EV charging is faster than single-phase EV charging.

We can expect the public EV charging infrastructure to continue to evolve, such that, faster rapid DC charging stations become more available. Most EVs can be charged from 10% to 80% within 30 minutes using a DC rapid EV charger. Ultra-rapid DC chargers can charge in even a shorter time!

Just like AC EV charging has different standards (connectors/ plugs/inlets: Type 1 and Type 2), DC EV chargers also have different standards (connectors/plugs). The most common standards for DC charging are: CCS (Combined Charging System) and CHAdeMO (CHArge de MOve). Just as Type 2 has become the dominant standard for AC EV charging, CCS charging is fast becoming the dominant DC charging standard, in particular, in Europe and America.

CCS Charging
CCS Charging

CCS Chargers: Basics
What is CCS charging?It is a DC (direct current) rapid charging standard/ protocol for charging electric cars. It was introduced in 2011. The CCS standard includes the Type 2 (IEC 62196) connectors, along with two DC connectors (pins), in a single connector pattern (CCS Combo 2) in the electric vehicle (EV), with a total of nine pins. The two DC connectors (pins) are at the bottom, and enable faster DC charging and communication. The communication is between the EV charger and the electric car. Communication is via Pulse Width Modulation (PWM).
Who were the first automotive manufacturers (OEMs) to support the CCS charging standard?Audi, BMW, Daimler, Ford, General Motors, Porsche and Volkswagen were the first automotive manufacturers to back the CCS charging standard. In fact, Volkswagen built the first public CCS charger in 2013 (Wolfsburg, Germany).
Why is it called Combined Charging System?A CCS Combo charger combines slow charging AC pins in conjunction (top) with DC charging pins (bottom) i.e. type 2 AC pins with DC pins.
Is CCS charging an open standard?Yes, it is an open international standard.
Do I need to buy a separate CCS EV charging cable? DC chargers have the cable tethered (attached), so there is no need to carry a separate EV cable for DC charging. A CCS DC charger cable has 5 pins.
Are all electric cars compatible with CCS charging?Yes, most electric cars sold in the UK or Europe are compatible with CCS EV chargers. Examples of manufacturers that use the CCS standard include: BMW, Jaguar, Ford, Volkswagen and more!
Where can I find a CCS rapid charger?CCS chargers are now easily available across the UK, to include motorways, destination charging, etc. Best to look at zap-map or similar, to locate a CCS charger.
What is CHAdeMO?It a less used DC charging standard, at least in Europe and the United States. It was developed in 2010 by the CHAdeMO Association (5 Japanese automotive manufacturers, to include: Nissan, Toyota, Mitsubishi etc). A major blow to the international adoption of CHAdeMO came in 2013, when European Commission designated the Combined Charging System (CCS) Combo 2 as the mandated plug for DC high-power charging in Europe. CHAdeMO is more popular in markets like Japan. The all-electric Nissan Leaf is an example of an EV that incorporates the CHAdeMO standard.

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Ashvin Suri

Ashvin has been involved with the renewables, energy efficiency and infrastructure sectors since 2006. He is passionate about the transition to a low-carbon economy and electric transportation. Ashvin commenced his career in 1994, working with US investment banks in New York. Post his MBA from the London Business School (1996-1998), he continued to work in investment banking at Flemings (London) and JPMorgan (London). His roles included corporate finance advisory, M&A and capital raising. He has been involved across diverse industry sectors, to include engineering, aerospace, oil & gas, airports and automotive across Asia and Europe. In 2010, he co-founded a solar development platform, for large scale ground and roof solar projects to include, the UK, Italy, Germany and France. He has also advised on various renewable energy (wind and solar) utility scale projects working with global institutional investors and independent power producers (IPP’s) in the renewable energy sector. He has also advised in key international markets like India, to include advising large-scale industrial and automotive group in India. Ashvin has also advised Indian Energy, an IPP backed by Guggenheim (a US$ 165 billion fund). He has also advised a US$ 2 billion, Singapore based group. Ashvin has also worked in the real estate and infrastructure sector, to including working with the Matrix Group (a US$ 4 billion property group in the UK) to launch one of the first few institutional real estate funds for the Indian real estate market. The fund was successfully launched with significant institutional support from the UK/ European markets. He has also advised on water infrastructure, to include advising a Swedish clean technology company in the water sector. He has also been involved with a number of early stage ventures.

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