New universal charging tech to allow EV drivers to use any plug

Continental's AllCharge tech would allow EV drivers to use any existing AC or DC plug to recharge their car

Electric car charging in the UK - Nissan Leaf

A new universal charging technology is set allow future electric car drivers to use any cable-based charging station to recharge the batteries in their car. 

Tech and tyre company Continental has launched two new charging systems for electric cars at this years Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. The Continental AllCharge system is said to serve as a “universal pass key” that will allow future EV drivers to use any cable-based charging station.

The AllCharge system would be supplied by Continental to vehicle manufacturers who would incorporate the tech into their models. Continental is planning to start production of the AllCharge in 2022. 

Electric car charging in the UK: prices, networks, charger types and top tips

Current charging technology involves converting alternating current (AC) from the grid into direct current (DC) to charge the battery. The conversion from AC to DC currently takes place in either the charging station (DC charging) or on-board the vehicle (AC charging), with fast DC charging stations more expensive to build. 

This has resulted in a number of different charging standards across different vehicles. To allow future electric cars to recharge from any station, Continental’s engineers have adapted the electric motor and the inverter to enable them to support the task of charging by adding a DC/DC converter that ensures power flows to the battery at the optimal voltage level. This allows the system to use both AC and DC charging stations without issue.

Best electric cars on sale 2018

This means cars equipped with Continental's All Charge tech can use both AC and DC chargers. With AC chargers, charging rates of 43kW can be reached, providing a range of 50 miles in just 10 minutes, while use of 800-volt fast-charging stations boosts range to 300 miles in 10 minutes.  

Brian McKay, director of powertrain technology and innovation at Continental North America said the system can also support cars sending electricity back, to power things like home appliances. McKay also said the tech is “future proof” to meet a changing charging infrastructure by meeting charging rates of 350kW in the future. 

Continental also announced details of its wireless charging system that enables electric cars to charge without a cable. Charging pads placed under ground would communicate with the car and give a quick charge once the car has come to a halt. Continental says a 20-minute stop can be used to increase range by 12.5 miles thanks to the 11kW charging rate. 

Would an EV that's capable of using all charging stations make you more likely to buy one? Tell us in the comments below...

Recommended

New 2021 Byton M-Byte prototype review
Byton M-Byte - front
Byton SUV Concept

New 2021 Byton M-Byte prototype review

We get an early drive of Byton's all-electric M-Byte at Las Vegas' CES
9 Jan 2020
New all-electric Sony Vision-S concept arrives at CES 2020
Sony Vision-S - front
News

New all-electric Sony Vision-S concept arrives at CES 2020

The Sony Vision-S concept car has been unveiled at CES to showcase the firm’s latest vehicle safety and infotainment innovations.
7 Jan 2020
Mercedes Vision AVTR concept revealed at CES
Mercedes Vision AVTR concept - front
Mercedes

Mercedes Vision AVTR concept revealed at CES

Wild Mercedes Vision AVTR concept shows off new battery technology that is 100 per cent recyclable at CES
7 Jan 2020
Hyundai autonomous flying and riding concept duo
Hyundai

Hyundai autonomous flying and riding concept duo

Hyundai believes it can team up with Uber to mass produce flying electric transport for city use
7 Jan 2020

Most Popular

Energy firms want the right to switch off electric cars charging at home
Electric cars

Energy firms want the right to switch off electric cars charging at home

New powers being sought to allow energy providers to turn off high-drain devices to manage electricity network
18 Sep 2020
How green are electric cars? Polestar data shows ICE trailing EV
News

How green are electric cars? Polestar data shows ICE trailing EV

Electric car maker reveals whole-life CO2 emissions of the Polestar 2 are better than a petrol XC40 - but EV is only 14% cleaner with global energy mi…
17 Sep 2020
New Rolls-Royce Ghost 2020 review
Rolls-Royce Ghost

New Rolls-Royce Ghost 2020 review

The all-new luxury Rolls-Royce Ghost saloon brings new levels of refinement
18 Sep 2020