European 'standard' e-car power connector details emerge
Won't let drivers head off with the cable still in place
Leccy Tech Further details have emerged about the design of the would-be European e-car plug standard currently being championed by Germany-based energy company RWE.
RWE's e-car plug design
The plug will support both 230V single-phase and 400V three-phase power supplies for, respectively, in-home and direct-from-grid charging.
The connector itself is being constructed by German firm Mennekes, one of the bigger players in world of industrial pluggery.
Drivers won't be able to drive off while tethered
According to Mennekes, the seven-pin plug includes a “plug present” contact that immobilises the connected car to prevent absent-minded drivers from pulling away while the power cable’s still attached.
A “control pilot” pin also exchanges data between the vehicle and charging station - presumably, battery status information.
The Mennekes proposal has already been agreed upon by a host of European car makers and power companies. It will even be used to charge the Tesla-supplied batteries on Daimler AG’s Smart electric vehicle. ®
Why re-invent the Wheel?
I was interested by your article on the design of a standard plug for connecting e-cars to the mains for charging.
We manufacture under license in U.K. the Auto-Eject which is a shoreline connection system. We have sold 10,500+ in U.K. & Ireland and it sells around 20,000 units p.a. in U.S.A.
As it Auto-Ejects it negates the need for a drive-disabling system, and is used in conjunction with the Auto-Safe switch on the wall or post which gives an immediate dead cable when ejection happens.
It is simple and uses standard 3 core flex.
Highly reliable and very available, it is a long established system that really works very well indeed. In UK it is fitted to nearly all NHS A&E ambulances, large numbers of fire engines and police vehicles, as well as M.O.D. and other vehicles.
We make 3 versions, available at 110 volts, 230 volts and 400 volts, in 15 and 32 amp connector sizes.
Re: Charge while driving.
You mean like the Toyota Prius, Honda Insight, MINI-e (etc. etc.) already do right now with regenerative braking?
Yes, it is worth the effort, as any Prius driver who's idly watched the status display as they coast to a halt will attest. It's sort of how the hybrid and pure 'leccy vehicles get the bang for their buck you know and not a new idea at all.
As for magnetic plugs, given the recently documented habit of said Apple connectors to short out when the lead's tugged, I'm not sure that applying this tech to 400v connections is a good idea....
Those who fail to study history...
Clearly the people designing this are idiots because they missed one of the most obvious points - one end should be male and the other female. When I run out of gas... er... electricity - while pulling into my drive I need to run to all the neighbors and collect their cables, then chain them together to reach my vehicle stalled out in the street.