Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/05/21/rwe_plug/

European 'standard' e-car power connector details emerge

Won't let drivers head off with the cable still in place

By Alun Taylor

Posted in Science, 21st May 2009 11:25 GMT

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.

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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.

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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. ®