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Hi all,

Got my Ecotricity card through today and have a question about fast charging......... There is a Welcome Break near me that has a AC 43kw fast charger.........I know the Ampera cannot charge at this rate but will The station and car communicate with each other to drop the charge rate or!! Will it damage the car!!!
 

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Ampera aka IGOR
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My understanding is that it will. The charging point that I have had installed at my house is a 32amp but the Ampera will only take 16amp so there must be some kind of communication. Might be worth a call/email to someone, Ecotricity/MyAmpera to double check though.
 

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The Ampera cannot use those 43kw chargers at all. They are for cars that have rapid charging systems such as the Nissan Leaf and Renault Zoe.

Ampera owners can use the posts that are beside the rapid chargers though. There is always at least one post for AC charging... at the moment that is up to 32A single phase. The Ampera has 16A AC so we can use those posts.

You will need a new cable though because those posts use the type 2 socket. The Ampera has a type 1 socket. So you would need a type 2 to type 1 cable... like this...


http://shop.zerocarbonworld.org/cables/32a-type2-type1-cable.html

There are fewer and fewer public charge posts with a 13A socket now so if you want to charge your Ampera regularly on public posts you will need one of these cables. Having said that at £199 you would need to charge in public quite a bit to get your money back.

Yes, the car communicates with the charging station using the J1772 protocol. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SAE_J1772
 

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Is it correct that the AC rapid charging is standard Type 2 (7 pin) so would work with any car that has that socket? I'm assuming the BMW i3 has that socket in the EU?

I guess the EU will start to mandate that socket on all new EVs? Maybe we will see the Ampera/Volt change to that socket in 2014?
 

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As always with EV manufacturers the detail is thin on the ground but as I understand it the i3 will have type 2 AC charging at up to 7kw and CCS rapid charging up to 50kw.

I am still unclear though whether it can use the 43kw AC rapid chargers from Ecotricity for 7kw charging or if those chargers are for 43kw capable cars only (e.g. Zoe). If not then it could still use the AC posts instead using a type 2 to type 2 cable.

Once thing is certain... the i3 cannot use either of the current Ecotricity rapid charge systems: CHAdeMo or 43kw AC. Instead it uses a CCS socket (Combined Charging System). Ecotricity have stated they will be installing CCS chargers at all Ecotricity locations.
 

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Is it not a bit mad to have a third ‘standard’ - why did BMW did not go with 43KW like the Zoë?
 

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proddick said:
Is it not a bit mad to have a third ‘standard’ - why did BMW did not go with 43KW like the Zoë?
CHAdeMO is to be phased out across Europe by 2018, and the 43kW is (as far as I know) limited to Zoe and Smart whereas CCS is backed by GM, Ford, Chrysler, Daimler and VW. Early technologies often have competing standards (Betamax anyone?) andin this case it looks very much as though CCS is the one that will win out in the long term.
 

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Ampera aka IGOR
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Paul Churchley said:
The Ampera cannot use those 43kw chargers at all. They are for cars that have rapid charging systems such as the Nissan Leaf and Renault Zoe.

Ampera owners can use the posts that are beside the rapid chargers though. There is always at least one post for AC charging... at the moment that is up to 32A single phase. The Ampera has 16A AC so we can use those posts.

You will need a new cable though because those posts use the type 2 socket. The Ampera has a type 1 socket. So you would need a type 2 to type 1 cable... like this...
Apologies from me, 'a little knowledge is a dangerous thing'. Now a question, do these Rapid Charging points use a different type of socket? How would someone know that they cannot use one for the Ampera?
 

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h8ten said:
Apologies from me, 'a little knowledge is a dangerous thing'. Now a question, do these Rapid Charging points use a different type of socket? How would someone know that they cannot use one for the Ampera?
Please no apology needed :) Isn't that why we are all here? To learn from each other?

Yes different sockets. They won't fit into an Ampera.

The current breed of rapid chargers use either CHAdeMo or type 2... the Ampera uses type 1 J1772. :)
 

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Ampera aka IGOR
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I have the public charging cable, at first I thought it was just like an extension cable with the same type of connector, male at one end and a female at the other. I now see from your photo Paul that it is the same as that so it must be a Type 2 to Type 1 cable. Is it a case that if the Type 2 plug fits into the charging socket then it will be safe to use? This is what I tried today and failed at, more due to the instructions supplied by Chargemaster which only covers the 13 amp connection and not knowing to leave it for a short time to communicate.
 

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I would say that it the type 2 end of the cable fits the charging socket then yes, as far I know, you can use it. The car will communicate with the socket and only take what is needs and it will never take more than 16A regardless. Remember... it is the car that takes the power... it isn't pushed into the car. So the socket might be able to deliver 32A or even more but the car will only ever take 16A. That is not a problem :)

If you are concerned about that then I don't think you need be. You should be able to charge at any socket that takes the type 2 plug and that is all you need know really.
 

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Thanks Paul, I think I was beginning to think there was as many combinations as there are charging cards. I have stuck with two cards at present Chargemenster (for Asda) and PodPoint (seems to be the one favoured by most councils here I believe).
 

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So what plug is CCS?
 

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Using Google Image search for "CCS charging":

The top half is the same as J1772, so you can use a J1772 plug in anything that uses CCS for slower AC charging. The lower half carries the DC current.
 

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Here's a comparison photo. It looks a similar size to the CHAdeMO plug, but the advantage is that with CHAdeMO you need a separate J1772 socket on the car whereas with CCS you have a single socket that takes both.

I would hope that high power DC charging with CCS will have captive cables and plugs so you won't be carrying one of these around with you.
 

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It looks to me that the CCS plug will not fit into a J1772 socket on the cars so although you could use a J1772 if the car has CCS you won't be able to use the CCS charger on a car that has J1772 (Ampera). That is a pity.
 

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What is good is that our tethered charging cable for the Ampera should charge a CCS car if someone visits (or we buy a new car) with that socket.
 
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