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San Diego Gets First Public SAE Charging Station for Electric Vehicles

October 02, 2013

The SAE International DC “Combo” Fast Charge station at San Diego’s Fashion Valley Mall is the first U.S. public installation of an industry-coordinated standard for fast charging of plug-in electric vehicles.

Starting in late December, the Chevrolet Spark EV — available in California and Oregon — will be the first EV in the U.S. to offer the SAE International fast-charge connector as a vehicle option, according to GM.

“The launch of these new charge stations will help improve the convenience and adoption of electric vehicles because they dramatically reduce the charge time,” said Pamela Fletcher, executive chief engineer of electrified vehicles at General Motors. “The SAE Combo DC fast charge stations are the result of EV industry collaboration to help customers benefit from available public infrastructure.”

The new combined AC and DC charging, or combo, connector is accessible via a single charge port on the vehicle and allows electricity to flow at a faster rate, says GM. This makes EVs more convenient for longer trips and for EV owners who may lack convenient access to overnight home charging.

“San Diego Gas & Electric applauds the collaborative efforts it took to make San Diego home to the world’s first retail SAE DC fast charge station,” said Lee Krevat, director of smart grid and clean transportation for the utility. “Our local drivers that have vehicles equipped with this charging system connector will be the true beneficiaries of this technology.”

Many major automakers including GM, Ford, Chrysler, BMW, Daimler, Volkswagen, Audi and Porsche have announced they will adopt the SAE combo fast charge connector standard. Earlier, many of the world’s major automakers had adopted the SAE’s 120V/240V AC connector standard to assure plug-in vehicles could access all charging infrastructure regardless of vehicle make or model.

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