Executive Insight, Smart Grid

Efacec sells electric vehicle fast chargers to SMUD

Sacramento residents who drive electric vehicles (EVs) will soon have another way to power up. Efacec has been selected by the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) to supply DC fast chargers.

Efacec’s QC50 fast chargers can charge an electric vehicle in under 30 minutes, compared with level 1 and level 2 AC chargers, which can take several hours. SMUD expects to install the Efacec chargers at its Sacramento headquarters, and in more locations to be named soon. The general public, as well as SMUD employees, will be able to use them.

There are two predominant types of DC fast chargers in the U.S. today. CHAdeMO works with Japanese cars including Nissan and Mitsubishi. 

The newer SAE J1772 Combo type services only one car now available in the U.S.: the Chevrolet Spark EV. BMW and Volkswagen plan to release vehicles in 2014 capable of accepting this type of DC fast charge.

Efacec’s QC50s, which are CHAdeMO certified, can be upgraded to include the SAE Combo connector as well. This means the Efacec chargers will be able to serve all DC Fast Charge capable electric plug-in vehicles available in the U.S.

Thanks to an agreement with SemaConnect and its SemaCharge network, EV drivers will be able to pay for the charging service by swiping a credit card, using a smartphone app, calling an 800 number or visiting a website.