German carmakers to collaborate on development of DC fast charging up to 350 kW

If, as the media are firmly convinced, the German automakers’ EV strategies revolve around competing with Tesla, they will have to come up with an answer to the ascendant Supercharger network.

The Europeans recently took a step in this direction with the formation of the Charging Interface Initiative (CharIN). Audi, BMW, Daimler, Opel, Porsche and Volkswagen, together with a couple of charging equipment manufacturers, including ABB, are promoting technical standards for the Combined Charging System (CCS), and working to increase its capabilities.


At the recent ELIV Congress in Baden-Baden, Audi told reporters (via Green Car Reports) that it will offer a DC fast-charging network for buyers of its Q6 e-tron, which is scheduled to arrive in 2018. The electric Audi is expected to have a 95 kWh battery pack offering at least 250 miles of range, and that means that CCS will have to raise its game in order to keep charging times around 30 minutes. Current CCS chargers are limited to 50 kW of charging power, while Tesla Superchargers pump at 125 kW.

By the time the Q6 plugs in, Audi plans to have a fast charging network up and running, at least in Germany, and power levels are heading upwards. “By the launch date, CCS charging power will be increased to 150 kilowatts,” said Audi executive Reinhard Hofmann. “Our customers will want long-distance mobility [and] we have to think of our customers without a garage.”

The goal, said Hofmann, is to make recharging even quicker and more convenient than filling a legacy vehicle with fossil fuel. He also hinted that, in the longer term, power levels could be increased to as much as 350 kW.

Many details of the future DC charging network remain to be “fully fleshed out,” Hofmann acknowledged. It’s likely that the automakers will bring in other partners to build and operate the network. “We want to go on developing cars, not infrastructure,” said Hofmann.

However, it seems certain that Audi, at least, sees charging as mission-critical. “The success of [Audi’s EVs] will depend on the charging infrastructure.”


Source: Charging Interface InitiativeGreen Car Reports, InsideEVs,

  • Dave_SRQ

    How much more advanced do you think the Tesla Supercharger network and Tesla Destination charging network will be by 2018? Do people really believe that Tesla will just stop expanding and improving their superior worldwide network? So far, everything here is lip service. Let’s see the all electric German EVs with 250+ mile range first. Then we might believe that they are working on a competent charging network in Germany. I wonder when they will make plans to serve customers outside of Germany. LOL.

    • Gaskilla

      And after they build the stations you still need a vehicle that can accommodate that charging level, and as you know we haven’t seen one yet.

      Why hasn’t anyone taken Tesla up on the offer to use their supercharging network? Might be admitting they are lagging behind Tesla?

      Get a free Subzero Weather Package or $1000 off your Tesla Model S order with this link

      • Lance Pickup

        It’s probably because the traditional auto industry moves at a much slower pace. Even if they were interested (and actually, I think they are–apparently both BMW and Nissan have talked to Tesla about this possibility), it would probably be 2 model years before vehicles that “spoke Tesla” would hit the streets. Additionally, you really need vehicles with 200+ mile range to take advantage of the Supercharger network (and be allowed to), and so far those vehicles don’t exist. I do think there may be a possibility that the 2017/2018 (whatever year it ends up being) LEAF, with its 200+ mile range, might be able to use Superchargers.

  • Lance Pickup

    A key part of this will likely have to be temperature management (for both the EVSE and the battery). I would like to see Tesla’s chilled charging cable concept expanded. Instead of just having the charging cord cooled, run the coolant liquid through the cord and then into a separate (but adjacent) port right into the vehicle and then through the battery to help cool it during charging. The hot coolant would then flow back out of the vehicle, through the cord and then back to the EVSE to be re-chilled and repeat the cycle. I think some kind of active cooling like this will be required if we’re going to be pumping 350kW into the vehicle.

    • dogphlap dogphlap

      Tesla does not need an external chiller and chiller connection ports since they already have cooling for the battery built into the car. If that is not adquate for 350kW it should be easier to upgrade that than mess about with connecting an external chiller circuit.
      Just my thoughts, I guess you won’t agree.

      • Lance Pickup

        Tesla currently charges at 125kW. We are talking about 350kW which is more than significantly more power going into the battery, so if we are talking about an upgrade, it would be a significant upgrade. So that would add volume, weight, and certainly cost to the vehicle, if it was even technically possible. Not to mention the fact that the only time said beefed up cooling would be necessary would be during charging events (even though technically the current Model S could experience over 500kW of power from the battery, that is only for a very short peak, not a sustained power draw). So yes, I don’t think I would agree that a giant cooling system should be built into the car, when a stationary system built into the EVSE and designed into future charging couplers would be a much more economical and efficient way to do it.

        • Knut Erik Ballestad

          Improved cooling would also be of interest for people that run their cars on race tracks once in a while.
          Currently, the Tesla’s can’t manage this kind of high-power driving for very many minutes at a time.

          • Lance Pickup

            Sounds that might be an opportunity for an aftermarket type of modification to differentiate your car from other competitors.

          • Knut Erik Ballestad

            Should be default on Performance series – seems a bit strange to sell a performance car that can only run at full performance for a couple of minutes…..

  • Dreck Sheisse

    Let’s hope battery technology can keep up with the improved power supply of charging stations!

  • Joel Sapp

    Let’s see what Audi does. They have been promising and then reneging on those promises for years. It was about 2 years ago when Audi said that it would be pulling the plug on an electric version of their R8:
    Car and Driver reports that the R8 E-Tron plan is on hold, pending a project review ordered by new research and development head, Wolfgang Dürheimer. Concerns about the project include a lack of sufficiently advanced and reasonably inexpensive batteries with which to power the car, as well as a buyer pool sufficiently rich and reasonably motivated to drop big sums on the R8 EV