NEW BERLIN, Wis., Sept. 19, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The first ABB (NYSE: ABB) DC fast charger for electric vehicles in the United States is now installed and operational in New Berlin, Wisconsin. ABB employs approximately 500 people in Wisconsin, where production for the chargers began in early September.
Called the Terra 51 direct current (DC) fast charger, the unit reduces EV charging times from eight hours to as little as 15 to 30 minutes for CHAdeMO-compatible battery electric vehicles.
"We plan to make this charging station accessible to the general public, so that owners of electric vehicles have local access to quick charging of their cars," said Cal Lankton, Director of EV Charging Infrastructure. The Terra 51 earned UL certification several weeks ago, which now puts the unit on the fast track for production and installation across the US, he said. Manufacture of the fast chargers is in ramp-up mode now at ABB's New Berlin Campus, with the first stateside units slated for installation in September. "Building out the infrastructure of fast chargers is in the early stages in North America," said Lankton, "but we now are underway."
Vehicle owners will be able to use RFID cards, swipe them through the card reader on the Terra 51 and begin charging. Such fast-charging technology is designed to support electrical vehicles on a commercial basis, so that they can be used for distance travel or for quick "top-offs" during normal use, according to ABB. Additionally, ABB's chargers can be connected to any charging network or community via the Open Charge Point Protocol (OCPP), the widely adopted international open networking standard for charging equipment.
Builds Interest in Purchase of Electric Vehicles
Stefan Friedli, General Manager Power Electronics & MV Drives for ABB in the US, noted that a number of employees have been following closely the progress of the installation of the charger, and several have said it has helped them decide to purchase electric vehicles. "This station is just the first step in what we hope is an area-wide charging infrastructure network," stated Friedli. "Our goal is to help provide the residents of the greater Milwaukee area with a rich network of EV chargers, in order to enhance the user experience and drive adoption."
ABB (www.abb.com) is a leader in power and automation technologies that enable utility and industry customers to improve performance while lowering environmental impact. The ABB Group of companies operates in around 100 countries and employs about 145,000 people. The company's North American operations, headquartered in Cary, North Carolina, employ over 27,000 people in multiple manufacturing, service and other major facilities.