Chargeway establishes standardized symbols for EV charging

Just as dinosaur drivers need to choose among regular, premium and diesel, EV drivers have several charging options, and novices (including some of our colleagues in the mainstream media) still find the different choices confusing.

Here in the US, we have Level 1 (120 volts), Level 2 (240 volts), and three different DC fast charging standards. In Europe and Asia, there are other standards, and the same ones are known by different names. Furthermore, the same car can charge at different rates depending on the charging station, but those rates are not displayed at most public chargers.

Matt Teske, a marketer and long-time EV owner from Portland, has devised a set of uniform symbols to denote the different charging standards and speeds.

Teske’s system, called Chargeway (via Green Car Reports), uses color-coded circles for charging standards, with a single number inside to indicate the charging speed – the higher the number, the higher the charging power available. For example, J-1772 Level 1 is indicated by a blue 1, J-1772 Level 2 by a blue 2, and CHAdeMO 50 kW DC fast-charging by a green 3 symbol.

The symbols could be affixed inside an EV’s charge-port door, and on public charging stations. They could also be included on highway signs, and incorporated into existing smartphone apps, so drivers would know at a glance whether a particular station could charge their car.

Teske showed the Chargeway system at the recent EV Roadmap 10 conference in Portland, and got rave reviews. “We need this concept to be seen and [backed] as soon as possible by all industry stakeholders: car and charging manufacturers, regulators and environmental organizations,” said Shad Balch from Chevrolet.

“The Chargeway description of the various types and speeds of EV charging makes it super-easy and simple for consumers to understand,” said Katherine Stainken, Policy Director for Plug In America.


Source: Green Car Reports

  • Dr_Mike_B

    Although the system has merits, the categories are overly broad. For level one it goes from 1 to 3 kW meeting from 8 to 25 A. Depending on what charger you have, this can makes a difference. For level two the range is from 20 to 99 kW. The standard CHAdeMO is 50 kW but one would want to distinguish between the 20 kW and the 50 kW charger. Similarly if you had a system that would run at 99 kW you’d want to know whether the charger you were stopping at is only 20 kW. In other words it is a good idea but needs much further refining.

    • Dr_Mike_B

      A more useful system would list the power available at the charging station. For level one the normal steps are 8, 12 and 20 A. For level two the normal steps are approximately 4, 7, 10 and 17 kW. For level three it appears to be 25, 50 and possibly 75 kW. This will let a driver know whether it is worth his time to stop at a particular station.

    • Dr_Mike_B

      The more I think about it, the more I dislike the system. Using the color blue for level one and level 2 J1772 and then using the same color for a level III CCS would be very confusing to a driver who does not have a CCS system. The CCS and CHAdeMO should be distinguished by separate colors separate from level one and level two . Level one and level two should also be a distinguished by a separate colors. Instead of having a single number inside the colored circle I would have the one, two, three with the power level. This would give much more information to the driver who’s either pulling off the freeway or parking on the street before he gets out of his car.

  • Dr_Mike_B

    Although at first glance I thought the system was useful, on later thought, it has multiple problems. Firstly, the ranges are overly broad. Level one charging ranges between 1 kW and 2.5 kW. Level two charging ranges between 3.3 kW and 20 kW. They have all of these represented by a blue circle with a number. This can be very confusing especially at highway speed’s. Level III in a blue circle is CCS only. The person with a CHAdeMO charger would be confused and think that possibly he can do level III at that station. In other words level one, level two, CCS, and CHAdeMO should be distinguished by different colors. Tesla is a beast of a completely different color and probably should not be included except for level one and level 2 which can go to 20 A on level one and 20 kW on level two. The level III Tesla stations are distinguished by a big sign that says Tesla.
    Instead of just a single number within the circle, I would also include a number that indicates the power in kilowatts of the charging station for levels two and three and the power in amperes for level one. This would be extremely useful so that the person with a 10 kW charger in his car will not stop at the station that only provides 3.3 kW on level two. It would also distinguish the extremely low power 20–25 kW level three stations and allow people to bypass them in favor of the more powerful stations.

  • Gillacey

    Hmm. I know its really set up for US drivers but I can see a number of issues. Firstly the CCS charge used by BMW for instance has 7 pins, not 5 like the Japanese J1772. This does not seem to be covered. In the UK all 7kW chargers are type2 (7 pin) and you need a lead in the car to connect. They don’t tell you this when you buy the car and they are not cheap.
    Also, the car’s satnav tells you whether the charge point nearby is suitable for that car. I assume you don’t have anything similar but ZapMap app is brilliant, you tell it what car you’re driving and it tells you where the charge points are, colour coded for speed (kW) it also tells you whether it is in service. This Teske system is inferior.