VHS versus Beta: Automakers Split on Electric Car Charging Standard

By Joel Arellano | October 18, 2011
Way back in 2009, Volkswagen, BMW, Ford, General Motors, Fiat, Toyota, and Mitsubishi came together and agreed to a universal plug standard for electric vehicles. EV supporters and the general press hailed the event as another step forward for the inevitability of electric cars on the roadway. The EV ride, as they say, has hit a bump on the road. Recently, Audi, BMW, Daimler (owner of Mercedes-Benz), Ford, General Motors, Porsche, and Volkswagen announced they will be supporting a charging port connector standard established by the Society of Automotive Engineers. This means EVs built by those automakers can recharge anywhere in the world where there's a compliant charger. Unfortunately, Mitsubishi, Nissan, and other—primarily Asian—automakers have already standardized their own charging port connector called CHAdeMO ("Charge de Move"). And other European automakers are still debating on the standards, particularly if they want to use AC or DC charging.
Chrysler and Fiat have not announced what standard, if any, they will support. While a Fiat 500 EV is in the works, specifications on such a vehicle aren't available at the time of this post. Automotive.com take: Having more than one charging standard further limits the range of electric vehicles. What do you think of the two new standards? Will the decision impact your purchase of an EV? Would it be better for all the automakers to have a big pow-wow and agree to one standard? Or should the market determine the ultimate winner? As always, let us know in the comments below. Source: PlugIn Cars