Infineon joins CharIN e-car interface club

January 24, 2017 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
Semiconductor vendor Infineon has joined the Charging Interface Initiative (CharIN), a global alliance of automotive OEMs and suppliers that aims at establishing and standardizing the charging infrastructure for battery-electric vehicles.

According to Peter Schiefer who oversees Infineon’s automotive division, the company intends to speed the development of electromobility by contributing its automotive systems expertise and its automotive semiconductors. Besides Infineon, NXP is the only semiconductor company on CharINs member list. With its power semiconductors, Infineon believes it can play a decisive role in implementing an energy-efficient, standardized charging infrastructure for battery-driven cars. Across the industry, the charging infrastructure is regarded as the bottleneck and one of the last remaining roadblocks for a widespread acceptance of electric mobility.

There is consensus that the cost level has to come down before electromobility will be embraced by the masses. While this holds true in particular for the batteries, the lack of a charging grid for fast and cost-effective charging is regarded as at least as urgent. Hitherto, at least three different charging standards are used across the world, preventing an open system where every electric vehicle can be charged at any charging station. Non-profit organization CharIN, headquartered in Berlin (Germany) with branch offices in Asia and North America, wants to establish global standards for the charging infrastructure; its standard proposal is the Combined Charging System (CCS), a plug standard for fast DC high-voltage charging at charging rates up to 350 kW.

 

CharIN members include carmakers from Europe, Asia and North America. Interestingly, Tesla is also a member of the group though it is pursuing its proprietary Supercharger standard. Likewise, CharIN members PSA and Honda follow the competing CHAdeMO charging standard. Against the background of carmakers like Audi, BMW and Porsche to develop very powerful electric vehicles requiring a high-performance charging infrastructure, it becomes increasingly probable that the industry will settle for CCS.

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